Mississippi economy predicted to grow slowly in 2013

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi’s economy is forecast to grow slowly again in 2013, after eking out just barely positive growth in 2012.

State economists predict economic output will expand 1.4 percent next year. That’s likely to be only enough growth to drag the state’s unemployment rate down to about 9 percent.

Marianne Hill, an economist for Mississippi’s College Board, says Mississippi’s reliance on low-skill jobs and federal money means its economy is growing more slowly than other parts of the nation.

A drop in payroll employment during parts of 2012 led economists to say Mississippi had dipped back into recession. For the year, Hill predicts the state’s output will grow, but only by 0.4 percent, compared to 2.1 percent growth nationwide.