JOB WATCH: Mid South Adds Jobs, Mississippi Lags
July 29th, 2016
The United States economy roared back last month, adding 287,000 new jobs during the reporting period of May 16 to June 16. The Mid South region saw similar – but uneven – progress throughout the states.
Tennessee experienced the largest jump in employment numbers, bouncing back from job losses in May to add over 11,000 jobs in June. Louisiana also saw positive jobs growth, adding 2,000 jobs last month, while Arkansas saw meager, but positive growth as well. Mississippi was the only Mid South state that did not experience positive growth with 4,800 fewer jobs in June than the month prior.
The United States has recovered all jobs lost since the onset of the recession – over 138 million jobs – but is still working to fill the “jobs deficit” (the difference between the number of jobs the U.S. has and the number it needs to regain its pre-recession employment rate).
Creating jobs is essential to creating opportunity and supporting economic security in the Mid South. With the exception of Mississippi, Mid South states have recovered all jobs lost since the start of the recession and are now adding jobs to match population growth. Mississippi is still struggling with both recovery measures; the chart below illustrates how the state economy has yet to recoup the 76,100 jobs lost since the recession, let alone add enough jobs to keep pace with population growth.
All states have made progress since the recession, yet the Mid South region still suffers from lasting effects of the Great Recession. While the recovery remains tentative, new state and federal policies should take aim to adopt job creation strategies that invest in families and communities by providing them with the tools that will help strengthen economic security. Initiatives that support job training and development, as well as the continued investment in public education, can uplift the state workforce and economy in kind.
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.