Unemployment outlook seems less bleak

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Job seekers lined the computers at the WIN Job Center in Gulfport on Tuesday. Some have been laid-off. Others just want a career change. They all are looking for a job.

Donner Vaughn of Orange Grove is a single mom who is taking care of a two-month old son.  Vaughn is interested in working for a casino.

"It's very hard and time-consuming. I got to find a baby sitter sometimes. It's just very hard right now," said Vaughn. "I'm just looking for food and beverages, casino work."

And Darrell Ballard wants to get into the construction field. He's been out of work for a year now.

"I'm going to go online and try to find out about them jobs overseas. Some other way, get somebody to help me, but I'll make it," said Ballard with a smile.

Officials at the agency said there's reason to be optimistic.   Here are the latest jobless rates in the three coastal counties:

  • Harrison County:  7.1 percent
  • Hancock County:  7.6 percent
  • Jackson County:  7.8 percent

"We were above 10 percent, and right now, we're below 10 percent. And we want to get better," said Al Brooken, a Veterans Representative at the Gulfport WIN Job Center.

On Wednesday, the WIN Job Center, along with 40 other agencies, businesses, and colleges, will be at the "South Mississippi Job Fair" in Lyman. They have various positions to fill, including sales, health care, accounting and customer service.

And for those looking for part-time jobs or temporary positions, officials at the WIN Job Center said hiring should increase as we head into the holiday shopping season.

"A lot of retail outlets are doing some recruitment, FED-EX, UPS. I've noticed that they're doing their seasonal hiring and that sort. There are some construction jobs available," said Brooken.

Those on the unemployment lines hope the job fair will put them on the path to a better future.

"I hope to find a good job, good insurance, so I can take care of me and my family," said Vaughn.

Last year, more than 3,000 people attended the Job Fair.  This year, the event is on Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  It's at the Lyman Community Center on Highway 49.

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