State’s poverty numbers increase despite development successes

Listening to Gov. Phil Bryant and Mississippi Development Authority director Brent Christensen of late, it’s hard not to be impressed with Mississippi’s economic development efforts.

Bryant’s talked a lot in recent days about his administration’s creation of more than 5,000 new jobs so far in 2013: “This is a testament to Mississippi’s workforce and to our efforts in fostering a strong business climate. Economic development is a dynamic team sport, and I appreciate the work of Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen and the entire MDA team for their hard work and dedication,” Bryant said.

Then there is the news that Area Development Magazine ranked Mississippi ninth for Top States Doing Business and gushed: “Mississippi is on an economic roll”. Bryant also noted in a recent Twitter post that Mississippi’s travel and tourism industries – still rising from the impacts of Hurricane Katrina and lingering negative perceptions from the BP oil spill – added $408 million to the state’s Fiscal Year 2012 state revenue and contributed more than 83,000 direct jobs.

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