Mississippi’s economy has been ranked dead last in the nation behind all other states and the District of Columbia. That’s according to the financial services website Wallet-Hub.
The study examined 22 economic indicators ranging from entrepreneurial activity to the amount of exports per capita. Of the nearly two-dozen categories, Mississippi ranked in the bottom 10 percent of states in eight including Gross Domestic Product growth, median household income and unemployment.
Jill Gonzalez is an analyst for Wallethub. She say’s indicators like GDP actually declined by nearly one-and-one-half-percent.
“That’s what we’re measuring here, all of Mississippi’s industries, products, services that’s what we’re really trying to measure,” says Gonzalez.
“That’s not too surprising that we would be on the low end of such a measure as this.”
That’s state economist Darrin Webb.
“The idea that Mississippi’s economy has underperformed the nation and our neighbors, that’s something we’ve been saying for a long time. We’ve not done well. Particularly in things like GDP growth. Our employment growth has been very poor.”
To improve the state’s economy both Gonzalez and Webb say policymakers need to focus on first improving the state’s workforce.
“A solid education system, pre-school through twelfth, is really where things need to start. Mississippi in recent years has not had the best showing with their school systems either.”
“Human capital is education. It’s skills. It’s health. It’s everything that makes a person a productive member of the workforce. For us to do as well as the rest of the nation, we have to improve our human capital.”
Mississippi did score well on the amount of entrepreneurial activity in the state as well as receiving middling scores on exports per capita and foreclosure rates.