More apps going online as jobless rate falls slightly

Published 10:56 am Friday, April 4, 2014

Job App

Computer skills have been an important aspect of the job market for years, but now it takes technological skills to even apply for a job, a WIN Job Center representative said Thursday.

Fewer jobs today accept applications in person than ever before, Patricia Hunt of WIN Job Center told Port City Kiwanis.

“So many of these jobs are posted online. The days when you can just go in and pick up an application — those days are almost gone,” Hunt said.

Even the WIN Job center has gone high-tech as applicants for unemployment must fill out forms online or over the phone.

“We stopped taking applications at the office about five years ago,” she said.

Computers are also more frequently used on the job, she said.

“Everything you do now, you have to be able to navigate a mouse and a keyboard,” she said.

To help people seeking work, the Vicksburg WIN Job Center has 32 computers divided between two computer labs, Hunt said. The job center also uses the computers to offer help compiling a resume for job seekers, she said.

“I always tell the customers that there is no excuse for not having a professional resume,” she said.

WIN Job center places about 500 people a year in jobs.

The countywide unemployment rate was 8.9 percent for February, the most recent month available from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The figure reflects a 0.1 percent increase from January, according to MDES.

Statewide unemployment stood at 8 percent for the same time period, unchanged since January.

Rates in Claiborne, Sharkey and Issaquena counties also dropped in February. Claiborne’s fell to 13.4 percent from 13.9 percent. Issaquena showed 14.4 percent, down 0.4 percent from January. Sharkey’s rate was 12.6 percent, down from 13.2 percent in January.