Fulton County has highest unemployment in state


Reporter- Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - David Dycus

FULTON COUNTY, KY-   On Thursday afternoon Danielle Jackson is walking into West Kentucky Allied Services.  She is taking a break from job searching.  Instead, she is searching for a jacket for her 2-year-old son.  At West Kentucky Allied Services, she simply has to sign up.

Finding a job, however, has been a lot tougher, "I've been to the Mayfield unemployment office, the one in Union City, Wal-mart, The Dollar Stores, all over."

New numbers from the Office of Employment and Training show Fulton County with an unemployment rate of 16.7 percent.  That is a significant improvement over the 20.5 percent it was this past June.  Still, the county has the highest jobless numbers in the state of Kentucky.

"With the jobs and factories they took from a lot of people its even harder for anyone to get a job," Jackson said of the competition.

Dana's closing's in 2006 meant 122 jobs. Last spring, Ferry Morse was another 200. But the county's economic development director, Eddie Crittendon, says the last 100 jobs at Ferry Morse, now Plantation Products, are staying put - for now.

"Fortunately it wasn't a 'We're closing it down' kind of thing," he said.

Crittendon says that phone call encouraged him. But plenty of others, trying to bring business in from places as close as Ohio and as far away as California, have led to disappointments.

"We've put together the best package we can when we meet with a client. The tough part is the lack of projects," he continued.

It means more frustration for people like Danielle Jackson.

"I really wouldn't care what it is, as long as it gets me some of income," she said of her willingness to get back to earning a paycheck. 

Crittendon tells Local 6 he has a site-based visit with a foreign manufacturing company in the weeks ahead.  But he says, it is really too early to tell just how many jobs that company could bring.