JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- At least 2,100 manufacturing jobs have been eliminated in Mississippi since July 1 and state officials say there could be more this year.
The job losses are evidenced by the state's 7.7 percent unemployment rate.
Northeast Mississippi's furniture corridor is reeling from numerous layoffs. Leggett & Platt announced 259 workers at plants in Tupelo and Saltillo would lose their jobs.
Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. last month announced it would lay off 200 workers at plants in Ecru and Ripley. Another 257 jobs have been lost at Hickory Hills Furniture in Itawamba County.
Since the start of the year, Ken Pruett, president of the Mississippi Furniture Association, says the state's furniture industry has lost about 2,000 of its 50,000 jobs related directly or indirectly to the industry.