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Mississippi Economic and Career Overview

Mississippi has a mixed economy. Many rural areas are significantly less affluent than the bigger cities where job opportunities are good across a wide range of industries. Mississippi's gross domestic product (GDP) reflects the mixed picture: GDP declined by only 0.9 percent in 2008-09, compared to -2 percent for the Southeast, and -2.1 percent for the U.S. as a whole. However, Mississippi's per capita GDP was the lowest in the nation in 2009.

Mississippi Job Market Outlook

The MS job market is on the up. Mississippi's unemployment rate has fallen dramatically from 11.4 percent in May 2010 to 9.7 percent in October 2010, while unemployment in the U.S. as a whole has been gradually creeping up over the same period to 9.6 percent in October 2010. Unemployment is lower in Mississippi's largest cities: Jackson 7.9 percent, Gulfport-Biloxi 8.6 percent, and Hattiesburg 8.1 percent. This illustrates the economic gap between rural and metropolitan Mississippi.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Mississippi careers employing the largest number of people in May 2009 were:

  • Government: 247,200
  • Trade, Transportation & Utilities: 214,500
  • Manufacturing: 134,200

The fastest-growing industries in Mississippi over the year to October 2010 were:

  • Mining and Logging: 8.9 percent
  • Professional & Business Services: 2.9 percent
  • Other Services: 2.5 percent

The mean annual income for all occupations in Mississippi in May 2009 appear s low at $33,570 compared to $43,460 in the U.S. as a whole. In fact, Mississippi had the lowest median household income over the period 2007-2009 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, Mississippi has a relatively low cost of living.

How Mississippi Schools Could Help Your Career

Almost half of all new jobs expected to be created in the decade 2008-2018 are in occupations for which a postsecondary degree or award are required. So find out how Mississippi schools could help you could qualify for MS jobs.