DeSoto County not immune to rough economy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

DeSoto County not immune to rough economy

By Chip Washington - bio | email

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - It seems that no one is immune to the end result of the economic woes the entire country is facing, including DeSoto County, as recent job numbers would indicate. 

It's happening everywhere you look: stores like Circuit City, Linens 'N Things, and restaurants like Roadhouse Grill, closings locations in DeSoto County.  It's a sign of tough economic times gripping not only DeSoto county, but Mississippi as a whole.

"In the whole year of 2009, unemployment was at 75,000 in Mississippi," Gary Mill, Branch Director at the WIN Job Center in Southaven said Monday. "From January 1 until the fifteenth of February, we have already signed up 35,000."

In DeSoto County, 5,180 people were without work in January, as compared to 4,500 in December. The county's unemployment rate stands at 6.9 percent, which ranks DeSoto as 7th in the state.

In addition to DeSoto, the WIN Center serves three other counties:  In Benton County unemployment is at 15.2 percent. Marshall at 11.3 percent, and Tate at 9.9 percent.

The highest unemployment rate is in Tunica County, at 19.5 percent.

One of those out of work Mississippians, Kenneth Toney, told Action News 5 Monday that the job market is tough.

"I didn't think I'd ever see it like this," he said. "I really didn't. Its the worst I've ever seen it."

In addition to helping those looking for jobs, the WIN Center also provides GED instruction.

"An employer expects you to be able to read, write legibly, and make change in almost any job you have," GED Instructor Bob Neyman said.

Services provided at the WIN Center are free to anyone that needs them.

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