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Unemployment Inches Down in August

By Daniel Cherry | Published 26 Sep 2012 05:31pm | comments
Mississippians line up at a Jackson job fair Wednesday
More than one hundred thirteen thousand Mississippians are out of work according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, even though unemployment is high...some employers are looking to hire.
 
Mississippi's unemployment rate is at 9 point one percent...a full percent higher than the national average. Elizabeth Levi of Byram graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi three months ago. She has a part-time job, but she's at a job fair in Jackson looking for full-time employment where she can put her Psychology degree to good use.
 
"I'm starting to learn that it's more about connections and networking. Even if you have a degree, it's kind of like a high school diploma these days. It doesn't really mean much. It's like, 'Oh, ok that's good. You have your degree, but the pay is still $8.00 an hour.'"
 
Another job hunter, Christian Johnson, of Jackson, says he's looking for anything. He has a two-year old daughter, and needs the income, but he feels he's up against some stiff competition.
 
"I think they're out there, it's just...being that there's such an influx of people out there that need jobs, it's rare to get one. You can't blame employers. They're going to choose the best possible person for the job."
 
Mississippi's unemployment rate is 1 point 8 percent lower than this time last year...so some employers are hiring, but recovery is slow. Loretta Cox-Smith is at the fair working for a staffing agency. She's looking for employees for Raytheon in Forest.
 
"I'm hoping to capture about 80 qualified personnel and get them to work and get them started within the next month and a half. Give them a career opportunity that can last 15-20 years."
 
Clay County has Mississippi's highest jobless rate at 16 point 4 percent. Rankin County is lowest at just 5 percent.

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Mississippians line up at a Jackson job fair Wednesday


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