Miss. furniture group seeks meeting with governor

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi furniture makers have shed about 1,000 jobs since Gov. Haley Barbour vetoed a tax incentive bill in April and industry leaders want a meeting with the governor to address their troubles.

Furniture Association president Ken Pruett said Wednesday that furniture makers, based largely in the northern part of the state, have seen a $139 million drop in payroll since the April 6 veto of a tax credit of $2,000 for each cut-and-sew job. He said the recent losses include about 400 cut-and-sew positions.

“We’ve got 50,000 Mississippi furniture families … that were affected by the veto,” he said. “We’ve got two companies that have already canceled their plans to expand so that they could have more cut-and-sew jobs and they’re going to send those jobs to China.”

Mississippi had 19,500 workers in furniture and related jobs in April, according to state employment figures.