Legislative briefing by State Economist provides overview of Mississippi jobs, economy
Nearly 250,000 Mississippians work in government - the largest employment sector in the state. The next largest sectors are manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and health care employing between 125,000 and 150,000 each.
The State Economist expects no significant change in Mississippi's economy in the short-term.
Mississippi's real gross domestic product in 2015 was below the 2008 level.
Mississippi's annual average unemployment rate for 2016 was 5.7%. The "real" unemployment rate was 10.9%. The "real" unemployment rate adds discouraged and other marginally attached workers and those working part time for economic reasons.
Mississippi has - at 56.0% - the second lowest workforce participation rate nationwide (only West Virginia is lower). The report cites Census data to note that 10% of the working age population in Mississippi is disabled and not in the work force. The national rate is 6%.
Mississippi has the lowest median household income in the country at $39,665. (Median household income is the level of income at which 50% of the households are above and 50% of the households are below this level.) The median household income in the United States is $53,889. Adjusted for the cost of living, Mississippi's median household income is $45,750 - still the lowest.
Only West Virginia and New Mexico are more dependent on the government than Mississippi. 40.6% of income in Mississippi comes from the government (26.3 percent from transfer payments; 14.4% from earnings).
Religious Freedom Promotes Diversity, Security, and Prosperity
Religious Freedom Attracts Entrepreneurs Who Foster Economic Growth
Religious Freedom Fosters a Commercial Society
Religious Freedom Tends to Spread to Neighbors
The authors write, "The idea that individuals holding different beliefs should be tolerated in society, and the incentive of these individuals to promote institutions that allow them to organize and worship freely, contribute greatly to an environment that promotes a wide variety of civil liberties that concurrently facilitate a number of secular relationships, which in turn promote greater interaction (trade) among people. In short, religious liberty is a catalyst for the freedoms that constitute democratic civil society and promote prosperity over the long haul."