Surviving economic downturn is first worry

Most Mississippians, no doubt, want to know when the “Great Recession” is going to end in this state.

“No one has a good answer for that question,” says Ed Spivak, executive director of the non-profit Mississippi Economic Policy Center (MEPC).

If history is any guide, recessions usually arrive later in Mississippi, but last longer. There’s some indication that’s what is happening this time, if you go by what public officials have been saying. So far, we know the trend in state tax collections has shown a decline as we have moved further into the fiscal year.

The state’s unemployment rate has hovered around 10 percent for several months and is expected to top 10 percent soon, according to a forecast of the economic research center of the State College Board. Don’t forget: our jobless rate went even higher in the early 1980s before the Mississippi economy hit its best decade of prosperity in history during the 1990s.

Bill Minor