State Forecast Expects Economic and Employment Growth in 2013

December 6th, 2012

Last week, economists presented at the annual Mississippi Economic Outlook Conference at the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. The conference focused on the outlook and forecast of both the national and state economy and provided insight on three key sectors of Mississippi’s economy: manufacturing, homebuilding and retail. Although Mississippi’s output and employment growth rates fell behind the United States throughout 2012, an upturn is predicted for late next year.

Key Findings: State Economic Outlook

  • The growth rates of output and employment in Mississippi remained lower than U.S. rates this year, with the annual growth rate of real output in 2012 expected to be under 1.0 percent.
  • Employment continued to fall in 2012, as it has every year since the beginning of the recession. In August, approximately 1 million Mississippians were on payroll – the lowest number in 16 years.
  • By industry, construction lost the greatest number of jobs (3,100 jobs) this year. Wholesale trade, retail trade, accommodations, and professional/scientific/technical services lost 1,200 jobs or more each. In contrast, health care and social assistance (3,000 jobs), transportation and utilities (1,700 jobs), durable goods manufacturing (1,700 jobs) and local government (1,300 jobs) had employment gains. See Chart 1.
  • The housing market is showing signs of recovery in 2012. In the second quarter, housing starts were 18 percent higher than in 2011. Home prices slowly rose throughout the year, and there was an increase in housing permits this year as well.
  • Residential building permits rose in 2012, in addition to continued growth in retail sales. Manufacturing employment rose 0.8 percent this year, with several major new facilities beginning production this year.

                            Chart 1: Percentage Growth of Employment by Industry

An upturn in recovery is predicted for 2013, as a result of this year’s improvements in housing and business investments as well as improvements in the world economy. However, this recovery is also predicted to be modest and slow, with the most positive outcomes not expected for another five years. Likewise, economic and employment growth over the next five years will continue to be lower than U.S. rates. As such, it is important that our state works to create an economic environment that supports a stable and growing workforce and provides Mississippians with long-term economic security.

Author: Jessica Shappley, Policy Analyst
Source: University Research Center, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. (2012). Ragged Recovery Slows Employment Growth. Mississippi Economic Outlook, 1(4), 1-12. Retrieved from

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