Category Archives: Job Growth
Mississippi’s employers added 6,000 jobs to their payrolls in September and the state’s unemployment rate fell again, although it remains the second-highest in the nation.
The numbers, compiled by two separate surveys, continue to send mixed signals about the state of Mississippi’s economy. The payroll survey records subdued growth, while the household survey used to compute the unemployment rate suggests an economy stuck in neutral at best.
Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes — were released Tuesday by the U.S. Labor Department.
Mississippi’s jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent in August and 8.4 percent in September 2013. But the decrease in the unemployment rate was thanks to 4,400 people stopping their job searches. The survey found that the number of Mississippians with a job fell by nearly 1,000.
The report found 96,000 Mississippians were unemployed in September, down more than 3,000 from August and below September 2013’s total of 107,000.
Gov. Bryant and company officials announce fifth expansion in four years at Ice Industries in Grenada.
Gov. Phil Bryant and officials from Ice Industries Grenada announced today the company is continuing to expand and improve operations at its facility in Grenada, Miss. The project marks the company’s fifth expansion since 2010. It represents a company investment of $1.8 million and will create 50 new jobs, bringing the total number employed at the facility to approximately 290.
Ice Industries Grenada, formerly known as Grenada Stamping and Assembly, supplies parts to the appliance, automotive, heavy truck, and alternative energy markets. Improvements will include infrastructure upgrades, overhead crane improvements, and shipping and safety enhancements that will allow the company to continue to expand service to its customers. New metal stamping and assembly equipment is also being installed to accommodate additional work from existing customers, as well as new work the company has acquired in the furniture industry.
“Ice Industries is a shining example of a Mississippi business that continues to place its confidence in the state’s supportive business climate and trust in its workforce,” Gov. Bryant said. “I am grateful to Ice Industries team for once again creating new job opportunities for the area’s residents and for helping show the world that Mississippi is a great place to do business.”
“We continue to find ways to grow our capabilities and add value to our global customer base by not only providing metal stamping, but also through assembly operations, welding, and painting. This latest investment clearly demonstrates the commitment Ice Industries has made to world class manufacturing in Grenada, Mississippi,” said Ice Industries Chairman and CEO Howard Ice. “We appreciate the considerable efforts that MDA and Grenada County have undertaken to support Ice Industries, our customers, and our employees.”
The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance in support of the project for building improvements. Grenada County provided assistance for the project, as well.
“MDA is proud to once again support Ice Industries as it pursues growth opportunities in Grenada County. Ice Industries is a valued member of the Grenada business community and business partner to the state, and we look forward to working with the company again in the future,” said MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen. “We thank our partners in Grenada County for working with us to help this great company with its latest expansion.”
Headquartered in Sylvania, Ohio, Ice Industries Grenada, formerly known as Grenada Stamping and Assembly, has a broad menu of capabilities, including the ability to blank, form, weld and assemble a variety of materials, strengths and thicknesses. In addition to being a supplier to Electrolux® in Canada, the company provides parts to Ford Motor Company in Argentina; First Solar Panels in Canada; Copeland in Northern Ireland, Belgium, Thailand and China; and Toyota Boshoku in Indiana. The company’s Grenada operations are housed in a 300,000-square-foot main plant and a recently-renovated 40,000-square-foot facility. For more information, please visit http://www.iceindustries.com.
Office of Gov. Phil Bryant Press Release
Mississippi’s economy is gradually growing stronger, but the state still has 44,000 fewer jobs now than it did before the recession, state economist Darrin Webb told legislative budget writers Friday.
Employment numbers in the state have been up in some months and down in others.
“What you see is sort of sputtering growth in employment,” Webb said. “It shows that we are really struggling to gain momentum, but we are growing.”
The strongest contributor to job growth in Mississippi this year is the manufacturing sector, particularly for making vehicles, ships and furniture. In 2013, the biggest growth came in temporary jobs.
Experts think Mississippi will end the year with 1.4 percent growth in its gross domestic product, which would be slightly lower than the 1.6 percent growth in 2013, Webb said.
In Mississippi and other parts of the nation, many young people are slow to marry and form new households, partly because they’re leaving college with a significant amount of debt, he said. That, in turn, is affecting the demand for housing.
The Mississippi Development Authority intends for 51 percent of new jobs at the state port to be filled by low- to moderate-income residents, but never said current jobs would meet that goal, the agency says in response to concerns the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has raised.
MDA secured $570 million in HUD recovery dollars for improvements at the port’s West Pier as an economic development project that would benefit low- to moderate-income residents. MDA must track jobs and report them to HUD to show the project is meeting its goals, or potentially face having to repay the money.
HUD informed MDA this spring the agency had documented only 50 of 1,286 existing jobs claimed at the port. MDA, HUD said, would have to supply documentation by early June that showed 51 percent of the total jobs are held by low- to moderate-income people.
MDA provided the Sun Herald with its response to HUD after the newspaper filed a written request for the records that an MDA staffer agreed to hand-deliver Friday to the agency’s office in Jackson. MDA insisted the request be hand-delivered or sent by mail.
MDA says in the response only 10 percent of port jobs were held by low- to moderate-income people when HUD awarded funding. Compliance will ultimately come, MDA says, through creation of new jobs.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant will lead a trade delegation to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from Sept. 9-13.
Mississippi Development Authority is sponsoring at least two other trade trips between July and October. Bryant is not scheduled to go on the other two trips.
The MDA says the trip to Brazil and a second trip to Chile on Sept. 5 – 7 will bring Mississippi companies that want to expand trade and create new business relationships with contact with South American markets.
“Over the last few years, we have seen a significant growth in exports from Mississippi and from the U.S. as a whole to Brazil,” Bryant said in statement. “The country is hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and these two events alone will require extensive infrastructure development, which is creating notable export opportunities for U.S. businesses.”
With manufacturing on the rebound, Mississippi’s economy grew by 2.4 percent in 2012, new figures show.
Gross domestic product numbers released Thursday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis try to measure all of the economic output of each state. They look at all the money that businesses, private individuals and governments spend on goods and services. Investment and foreign trade are also included in the totals.
Mississippi’s 2012 growth rate was close to the national average of 2.5 percent, and ranked 17th among the 50 states. That was a marked improvement from 2011, when Mississippi’s economy shrank by 1.1 percent, one of only five states to contract.