One Eastern Kentucky County Facing Highest Unemployment Rate In The State

By Julie Maloney | 

A report released by the Kentucky Labor Force says employment has gone up in more than one hundred Kentucky counties. At the same time, many counties in Eastern Kentucky are at the top on the unemployment list.

Jackson County has the highest unemployment rate in the state.

"They've been downsizing now for 6 or 8 months," said Jackson County Judge Executive Tommy Slone.

One reason is because jobs keep disappearing at this Mid-South Electronics Factory in Jackson County.

"They told us they were going to downsize until this December," Slone said.

Slone says after Mid-South burned to the ground last year, hundreds are out of work.

"They lost everything. They lost all their equipment, all their presses," said Slone.

Slone says Mid-South employed more than seven hundred people last year. Now just a little more than one hundred work there. As a result, unemployment is sky rocketing.

Last October 7.4% of Jackson County residents were out of work. This year, almost ten percent don't have jobs.

"They're pretty much at rock bottom now, hopefully starting back up in the near future," Slone says.

And now the hundreds who have been laid off are now searching for new jobs.

"A lot of these people are getting jobs elsewhere or picking up jobs out of the county or still drawing unemployment," Slone said.

Not only is the county losing jobs, but now they're also losing revenue.