Mississippi's unemployment rate hit a record low this year, since the financial crisis in 2008, now at 7.5%. Hurricane Katrina and the stock market crash of '08 both hit the Gulf Coast hard, leaving hundreds unemployed. Laurie Roods came to Mississippi with the Navy and once on leave, she got a temporary job with Kelly Services. Roods says, "Part time is tough, and here in Mississippi, they can let you go for anything. Folks get burnt out on a part time job, they lose hours, they cut hours down, so they look for something different. I've been fortunate that I've got to stay in a full time position." Luckily for Roods, she was able to turn her temporary work into a full time job within three weeks of starting. Many others hope to be as lucky as the tourist season approaches and more jobs become available.
Robyn Tennyson, the Manager of the Gulfport branch of Kelly Services, says they've seen their unemployment rates reflect the state trends. Tennyson says, "We have placed quite a few people. It’s really busy for us as far as positions, and our unemployment rate has dropped as well. So we are really seeing a good trend as far as keeping people working." Both Roods and Tennyson say they find the lack of job openings and the lack of specific skills to be the main factors in unemployment in the area. Tennyson plans to keep her job up while Kelly Services aims to keep Mississippi’s unemployment down.