Stalled economic recovery affects Mississippi's economy

By Karrie Leggett - email

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The national unemployment rate hovers at 9.6 percent, and according to Political Science Professor Trellis Green, in Mississippi the rate is around 11 percent.

"Mississippi is a coat-tail economy, we follow with about a six to nine-month lag the national economy," said Green.

But Hattiesburg and Lamar County do not seem to be holding on too tight to those coat tails.

"Hattiesburg and Lamar County always out perform the state; we are usually half the state's unemployment rate, so we don't do as badly here as the state of Mississippi does," said Green

Hattiesburg and Lamar County is significantly less at 4.8 percent, which is good for one county but the jobless claims have spiked to half-a-million throughout the nation in August.

Conservatives like Senator Roger Wicker say ballooning taxes and budget deficits are contributing to those numbers, and the best way to deal with it is to end federal spending.

"Another thing that we need to do is freeze federal spending for three straight years," said Wicker.

Green disagreed. It's all about growing the economy, and according to Green that doesn't happen without consumer confidence.

"That is not the answer, just stopping government spending," he said. "Now, if that would raise confidence, if people would see that as, 'oh boy now the government is going to do something and stop this extravagant debt build up,' which is a problem in the future. They might feel more optimistic, feel better abut the prospects of the future and then start spending and investing," said Green.

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