By Ashley Conroy
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Mississippi's unemployment rate remains in the double digits for June at 11.1 percent, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
In the Jackson metro area, Hinds County has the highest unemployment rate at 10.2 percent. Madison County is at 8.2 percent, and Rankin County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 6.8 percent.
MDES reports from May to June, jobs in trade, transportation, utilities, business services and hospitality were up.
The local Winn Job Center in Jackson says anywhere from 1,000 to 1,800 people walk through their doors weekly looking for employment.
Single parent Michelle Hilton is one of the representatives working at this center and says she too was unemployed and laid off from work 2 and half years ago.
"I came back out and was fighting against age and education," said Hilton.
Hilton landed her job at the center through the Mississippi STEPS program through MDES. However, because she is a STEPS participant, she realizes her employment with the center will end on September 30.
"Even now I still don't regret coming here because it's taught me a valuable lesson that a lot of people are having a hard time trying to find jobs," Hilton said.
Meantime, on July 22, Congress decided to extend the federal unemployment benefits through the end of November.
Customer Operations Director for MDES Jimmy Giles says Mississippians have taken advantage of this.
"The weekend of July 23rd, 24th, and 25th we processed approximately 16,000 individuals claims," Giles said.
Giles says those filing for regular unemployment in general has slowed down.
"We have approximately 28,000 Mississippians filing regular unemployment insurance each week," said Giles.
Hilton says she's learned a valuable lesson after her experience with unemployment and now helping others find work.
"All walks of life come and sit in my chair from single families to people who used to make $70,000," said Hilton.
MDES says anyone unemployed is eligible for benefits. Those interested in more information about applying are encouraged to go to the MDES web site at www.mdes.ms.gov
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