Frustration growing for coast job seekers

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Now Hiring signs on the coast are few and far between. That means the Labor Finders office in D'Iberville stays busy. Outside, people wait for any good news about potential work. But the news is usually not very good.

Joshua Limkemann has been looking for work for months.

"It's been very frustrating. I've been everywhere putting in applications online and going to places and businesses and they're just not hiring," Limkemann said. "I've had a few interviews and they tell me they'll call back and get with me if they're going to hire somebody and I've never gotten a call back."

It's a story repeated over and over again.

"It's very frustrating. I tried fast food restaurants and everything and they aren't hiring and I've got kids I've got to support. I'm trying to do what I can to make money," Jonathan Haney said.

One week's worth of applications is almost the size of a phone book.  Then there are piles of boxes from just the past few years. For Labor Finders Manager Casey McConnell, this economic reality is hard to deal with.

"You sit here and watch them and you can see the frustration on their faces. They want to go to work," McConnell said. "They're not sitting on their butts at home not doing anything. They're coming here. They want to go to work."

As you've already read several times, the one word being used to describe the situation is "frustration." But there may also be some good news on the horizon, according to McConnell.

"It is getting slightly better. Not what we want to see, which is a lot more, but it is getting better slowly, but surely."

As for Joshua, he has a message for would be employers.

"Well, I'm a very dedicated hardworking employee. I can do pretty much anything. I'm real used to construction work, building houses, boats, docks, stuff like that."

The statewide unemployment rate in Mississippi is 9.6 percent compared to the national rate of 7.7 percent.

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