MS Jobless Rate Steadily Rising

By Jon Kalahar - email

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - New numbers for August show the nation's jobless rate is at a five year high, and Mississippi is no exception. Since April, unemployment numbers in the state have steadily increased.

Dewayne Lindsey is one of 200 workers recently laid off at the Nissan plant in Canton. His local WIN Job Center was one of the first places he stopped to hopefully turn things around.

"I always try to keep ducks lined up, so to speak. One fall off, you gotta have another one to back it up," said Lindsey.

Lindsey said he knew the layoffs were coming and already has a temporary job, but he's looking for something better.

"I already had something in mind. As far as school, I wanted to get in under computer engineering. That's another reason why I'm here today," said Lindsey.

Since April, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security confirms unemployment has jumped from 5.6 percent to July's 8.5. That's the highest number in July since 1992.

Eleanor Alexander has been out of work since March, and said finding a new job is difficult.

"Right now it seems like it is... sometimes I think it's who you know, not what you know," said Alexander.

But even with help from the WIN Job Center, finding a job can take months. So what do people do in the mean time to make ends meet?

Lindsey and Alexander say you have to keep your head up.

"That's part of the whole reason why I wanted to go to school. I'm getting a career for myself, establishing myself," said Lindsey.

"I have some help, I have some help. I have family and they're really supportive. I've just not had any luck with getting anything," said Alexander.

The Associated Press reports Nissan and its suppliers have cuts as many as 400 jobs since March. But no one is exactly sure on the total number of lost jobs.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security denied our request for an interview about unemployment in the state.