JOB WATCH: May Mid South Update
June 24th, 2016
The latest jobs report shows the U.S. economy added only 38,000 jobs in May. This meager increase in employment follows a noticeable slowdown in job growth in the past months compared to the more robust growth of the last year; in the past year, the average number of jobs added per month was over 200,000.
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States in the Mid South also experienced poor job growth in May—only Arkansas saw positive change in total employment last month. While all Mid South states and the U.S. are still struggling to create enough jobs to keep up with population growth—or overcome the “jobs deficit”—Mississippi still has not recovered all jobs lost since the onset of the recession. The jobs deficit is the difference between the number of jobs Mississippi has and the number it needs to regain its pre-recession employment rate, which currently sits at 76,300
While all states—the Mid South included—have made undeniable progress and recovery since the recession, the region and the country are still suffering under lasting effects of the economic slowdown. While the recovery remains tentative, policies enacted at the state and federal levels should take care not to upset slow, but positive growth and—above all—should prioritize job creation and putting Americans back to work. If employment is made a priority, skilling-up the available workforce while incentivizing local businesses to start up, expand, and hire can bring opportunity and economic security back to Mississippi and the Mid South.
Each month, we will examine the jobs report released by the U.S. Department of Labor in our new Job Watch blog series. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and join our email newsletter for updates.