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Greater Metro

Unemployment Going Up in Memphis Despite Job Talk

(Memphis) Jobs have been one of the focuses of Wharton’s administration, but the unemployment rate in Memphis continues to climb.

Precious Baker is looking for a job but isn’t finding much luck.

“It’s very difficult. The bills, utility bills, rent, food, everything… it’s hard right now,” said Baker.

Stories like Baker’s are becoming more common in Memphis.

Tens of thousands of people are without work, but Mayor AC Wharton maintains he and the city are working to bring jobs to Memphis.

There’s just no magic wand to fix the problem, and he says it’s ultimately up to you to find a job.

“Simply because you are not working do not use that as dead time and just sit there and maybe a job will fall on my front porch,” said Wharton.

Mayor Wharton says right now the city is training people at the WIN job center for free because many new jobs coming to Memphis need special, advanced manufacturing training.

“Make sure you’ve done everything you can to be in the position to grab one of those jobs. The jobs that are coming are not going to be like the jobs of today,” said Wharton.

Wharton says the city is also working on plans to bring even more manufacturing jobs to president’s Island, but that is a long-term goal and doesn’t give any immediate help.

Wharton says the one thing you should do now is understand it’s up to you to learn basic requirements for training and eventually work.

Baker thinks the city needs to step up too.

“We’re trying to do the right thing and get a job and make an honest living, but we don’t have the jobs available,” said Baker.

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