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BY JOSH PRESLEY
According to a report from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES), the unemployment rate for Clay County is down compared to last year.
The unemployment rate was 20.1 in July 2013 and, according to the report, is down to 18.1 for July 2014, and the lowest it has been since 2009.
Clay County had the highest unemployment rate in the state since about 2006, according the the U.S. Department of Labor, and still has the third highest unemployment rate of all. West Point Mayor Robbie Robinson said heâ€™s confident that number will continue to go down in the future.
â€śThere are some exciting things happening that are putting more of our residents to work,â€ť Robinson said. â€śWeâ€™ve got Yokohama coming in and places like Captain Dâ€™s - which employed 50 full-time and part-time people - so there are some real jobs out there where maybe there werenâ€™t previously.â€ť
Robinson said there havenâ€™t been many manufacturing or retail jobs available in the community in the past, but he said city officials work every day to bring more employment opportunities to West Point.
According to the report there are 190 fewer unemployed residents in Clay County this year compared to last, and East Mississippi Community College West Point Center Director Mitzi Thompson said residents are upgrading their skills and their education.
â€śWeâ€™re pushing the idea that our residents need to get this training and, for the most part, people are listening,â€ť Thompson said. â€śPeople are coming in and getting the skills they need in order to go to work.â€ť
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