MS economists weigh in on 2011 outlook

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - It's the question many are asking now that 2011 has arrived. Will we see a turnaround in the economy? Some experts weighed in during the latest issue of Mississippi Economic Review and Outlook which is published by the Institutions of Higher Learning. They said economic indicators like retail sales and tax revenue look promising but with high unemployment numbers, recovery is still a ways off.

Economists say in 2010, construction lost more jobs than any other industry in Mississippi. Some local residents say with overall unemployment at around 10 percent there are plenty of Mississippians are feeling the financial pinch

"It's pretty rough shape right now," said Tom Doyle. "Jobs are hard to find and think that's the main point. We've got to get people with money in their pocket to boost the economy back up and it's not happening."

In recent years, the federal government has pumped billions of dollars of stimulus money into local communities in hopes of boosting the economy.

"I think it's terrible right now, and I don't see it getting any better until Obama gets out of there," Laura Gray said. "I think they need to stop spending money. I think they need to stop being wimps as far as their relations with other countries and basically put a reign on what they're spending."

Doyle said, "I think Obama is doing a pretty decent job, and I hope all his plans come together. And we get going again. This country needs it."

Some South Mississippians say they're optimistic about 2011.

"I think 2011 is going to be a fantastic year," said Leonard Carruba. "It's been a little rough in 2010, but things are turning around, especially here in Long Beach. We're getting some work done that needs to be done. We're getting some investors coming. It's just going to be great for all of us in Long Beach, and the whole coast is just turning around."

State economists say they expect it won't be until 2015 that Mississippi will have the number of jobs it had in 2000.

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