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Tags: industries | mississippi | economy

Top 5 Industries in Mississippi: Which Parts of the Economy Are Strongest?

By    |   Saturday, 11 April 2015 03:47 AM EDT

Some industries in Mississippi flourish, however, according to Business Insider, the state ranks last among America's 50 state economies, scoring at the bottom in the country in unemployment rate, average annual wages, and gross domestic product per capita and personal consumption.

These leading five industries in Mississippi give the Magnolia State’s nearly three million residents hope for a brighter economic future:

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1. The No. 1 industry in Mississippi is agriculture. According to Growing Mississippi, almost 30 percent of Mississippi’s labor force works in farming in some capacity.

The industry generates $6.3 billion annually thanks to the efforts of more than 41,000 farms in each of the state’s 82 counties. Because Mississippi’s land mass is largely rural, these farms collectively span 11 million acres.

The most produced crops in the state are cotton, soybeans and rice.

2. Another leading industry in Mississippi is manufacturing, the top revenue-generating sector of the state’s economy.

However, according to a 2014 study by the nonprofit National Employment Law Project, residents employed in manufacturing are not benefiting from the industry’s resurgence. The median wage among manufacturing employees is $14.02 per hour, which is 45 percent lower than the nationwide median wage, 13 percent behind the median wage of manufacturing workers in the other 49 states and one-quarter below Mississippi’s overall median income.

"The problem is, the jobs that are coming back aren't as good as what was lost,” said study co-author Catherine Ruckelshaus. “The pay is less, and they often are filled by workers from temporary-labor companies."

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3. Of all the industries in Mississippi, fishing is one of the state’s most reliable. Thanks to the Gulf of Mexico to the south and the Mississippi River to the west, the state supplies fish to grocers and food suppliers throughout the country.

According to Economy Watch, Mississippi is also No. 1 in the world in the production of catfish.

4. Gambling was one of Mississippi’s fastest-growing industries eight years ago, hitting its apex at $2.9 billion in 2007. But, like with other industries, the Great Recession has taken a bite out of the state’s casino industry.

According to Bloomberg Business, Mississippi’s gambling revenue has shrunk to $2.1 billion annually, and companies like Caesars Entertainment are shuttering some of their casinos due to saturation in the market and fewer residents risking their hard-earned money on gaming.

5. The state industry with the most immediate potential may be oil and gas. The state could enjoy an increase of over 12,000 jobs and more than $240 million in annual revenue within 20 years if the federal government lifts a ban on oil and gas drilling in certain areas of the Gulf of Mexico off Mississippi’s southern coast, according to a study from the American Petroleum Institute and the National Ocean Industries Association reported by Gulf Live.com.

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Oil and gas companies’ investment in Mississippi could reach a yearly total of nearly $670 million by 2035.

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Some industries in Mississippi flourish, however, the state ranks last among America's 50 state economies, scoring at the bottom in the country in unemployment rate, average annual wages, and gross domestic product per capita.
industries, mississippi, economy
Saturday, 11 April 2015 03:47 AM
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