Mississippians are below the national average in financial security, that's according to a new report reveals. As MPB's Alexis Ware reports, experts say families may be getting by, but aren't getting ahead.
Prosperity Now, a national non-profit, reports Mississippi is the worst state in financial security. About 40 percent of Mississippi jobs are in low wage occupations. Charles Lee is with the Mississippi Center for Justice. He says many families could boost their financial stability with more education.
"Without an educated populous or an educated populous that doesn't meet the same standards as the national education level of others, we aren't able to attract industry to this area that will employ individuals at a higher wage level."
The report says half of Mississippi households did not save money for emergencies in the past year. David Knight is with Hinds County Human Resource Agency. He says creating savings isn't as simple as managing money better.
"We get this idea that people need to be able to just manage what money they have better, which I find very interesting because when you look at the amount of money they actually have there's not really much there to manage."
Lee says information on how to save money or create a budget is not taught in schools. He says learning how to manage money could help many families.
"If you have individuals whose parents don't understand how to manage their own money then the children typically will not understand how to manage their own money and they'll do the same thing that there parents have done. So, it becomes a generational problem with individuals not being able to understand how to best utilize their money for their benefit."
Knight says ensuring families have access to assistance programs can help them increase the amount of money they are able to put into savings.