State economy in bad shape, but some areas efforts show signs of hope

Published 1:11 pm Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mississippi is back in recession, but few people probably paid much notice a few weeks ago when state economists made the announcement.

In mid-September, economists said Magnolia State payrolls had fallen for the fourth straight month in August.

The decline signaled the big “R,” they said.

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Current employment levels in the state are essentially at the same low level experienced in the depths of the recession in 2009.

Because Mississippi’s economy was already bouncing around near the bottom, news that the official notice came wasn’t much of a surprise.

But the news isn’t all doom and gloom, or at least, it doesn’t have to be.

Things can pick up if the state’s leaders remain positive and working hard to create an atmosphere of business growth.

That’s true from the Gulf Coast to Oxford and all points in between. It’s especially true in the Natchez area, where we’re fortunate to have two positive things going for it.

First, we have our natural resources, river access and available flat land, particularly in Concordia Parish.

Second, our business, civic and government leaders are committed to working together to make the business climate in the area as conducive to new growth as possible.

A number of promising business ventures have already been announced through the cooperation and public-private partnership of Natchez Inc. Most of them have yet to begin construction, but their announcement is enough to make the dreaded “R” word just a little less painful since it means hope is on the way.