EDITORIAL: Beating joblessness

By NEMS Daily Journal

Northeast Mississippi’s 16 counties, along with most of the rest of the nation, have learned to applaud even incremental progress against a stubbornly high unemployment rate driven by a recessionary economy – and some manufacturing businesses that have been in a down cycle longer than the recession.
The March rate for the region is 10.9 percent, lower than the 12 percent a year ago but still a full percentage point above the 9.9 percent single-digits last seen in March 2009. The recession, national economists calculate, began in December 2007 and ended in 2009, but Northeast Mississippi has not regained consistent jobs and economic momentum.
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security released the state figures this week. Statewide unemployment is 10.2 percent, slightly lower than Northeast Mississippi. The nationwide rate is lower: 8.8 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The federal report said since November 2010, the jobless rate has declined by 1 percentage point.
The national rates for specific groups within the labor force offer some areas of concern for Mississippi becomes of our state’s large minority population:
– Black unemployment stands at 15.5 percent;
– Hispanic joblessness is 11.3 percent.
The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs in the federal report stands at 8.2 million, encouragingly 1.3 million fewer since November 2010. The number of people employed in Northeast Mississippi also has grown slightly and the number of unemployed has dropped.
While nothing suggests a major rise in employment coming soon, the Rolper Business Group says on its website that people who devote a lot of time and energy to finding work have a better chance of finding a job:
n “Finding a job is a full-time job. So many people complain and find themselves in financial binds because they can’t find work, but how hard are they really trying? If you are willing to put in 40 hours a week in an office, put at least half that amount of time into finding that office to work in.”
– Be tenacious.
– Be personal, not computerized. Make an effort to hand deliver a resume.
– Do something. While looking for the perfect opportunity, take time to volunteer at a local organization. There’s a chance that the volunteer position could turn into a paid position over time.
– Stay positive. Nothing is more important than keeping a good attitude.
Some jobs are available in every down economy.

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