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Will Mississippi’s Economy Bounce Back in 2011?

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 31 Dec 2010 01:47pm | comments
Steve Green ponders the 2011 economy in downtown Jackson

Mississippi's economy is showing signs of improvement for the new year but economist expect growth to remain slow. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports Mississippi is still years from a full recovery.

After years of declines and more than 70-thousand lost jobs, economist expect that Mississippi is poised to make some of that ground back in 2011.

State revenues have increased slightly, the Toyota plant and related factories are opening, and consumers seemed more willing to spend this holiday season.

Senior State Economist Marianne Hill says a big economic concern in 2011 could come from government cut backs.

"Part of the problem now is that government stimulus funds are running out. State and local governments are reducing employment. Same thing in the federal government. Government spending is dropping so government employment s dropping. That is moderating the kind of growth that we are seeing," Hill said.

She predicts that it will be five more years before the state returns to pre-recession levels.

82-year old Clarence Hunter calls himself a Depression Baby, and does not expect any improvement in the job market.

"Shipping stuff over seas. We are letting cheaper markets take over. When I was young it was not as much of a problem," Hunter said.
Steve Green is a bit more optimistic, noting some recovery signs while being cautious about the New Year.

"I think it is more of the same. I think we still got a year or two before the economy really bounces back...I think it will," Green said.

Mississippi's economic growth rate is expected to be about 1-and-a-half percent, which trails the national economy.

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Steve Green ponders the 2011 economy in downtown Jackson


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