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Federal unemployment benefits for COVID-19 to end in Mississippi

WIN Job Centers work to connect people to openings
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:43 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Federal pandemic unemployment benefits will end in Mississippi on June 12 after Gov. Tate Reeves announced in May that the state would opt out of the additional benefits.

Reeves attributed the decision to the need to fill available jobs across the state.

On Thursday, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security hosted a job fair in Hattiesburg to help connect people with some of those openings.

Adam Todd, director of the Governor’s Job Fair Network, said he sees lots of openings across industries in the area. More than 40 businesses participated in the fair.

“The Pine Belt is ready. I mean open and ready to go to work, ready to get people hired,” Todd said. “The economy here is strong, but it’s ready for those workers and ready to get back to what it does best.”

The unemployment rate peaked at 15.7% in April of 2020 just after COVID-19 caused shutdowns across the state, according to MDES. While the rate has dropped, it has hovered at about 6% since January.

Todd said local WIN Job Centers can help people who are still searching to find work.

“Just go by,” Todd said. “Anything from resume preparation, they can help with job seeking, anything that someone needs. A pathway to a job, certifications, things of that nature, all of that can be found at a local WIN Job Center.”

The Pine Belt has three WIN job centers located in Hattiesburg, Laurel and Columbia.

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