losses in manufacturing jobs, employment in George County has increased
at a faster rate than the state average since 2001, according to
findings of a recent economic base analysis. The study was conducted
by the Center for Community and Economic Development at The University
of Southern Mississippi.
From 2001 to 2002, employment in George County increased
3.4 percent while employment in Mississippi decreased 2.1 percent.
From 2002 to 2003, George County's employment increased 7.2 percent
while Mississippi's employment increased only 2.1 percent. These
findings indicate that competitiveness at the local level is helping
George County improve its employment.
Despite this growth, however, George County's unemployment
rate of 10.2 percent remains higher than the state's unemployment
rate of 6.3 percent.
The analysis also found that from 1992 to 2002, the
county's per capita personal income grew 56 percent to $19,385,
which ranked 48th out of 82 counties in the state. In 1992, George
County ranked 56th in the state with a per capita personal income
of $12,422. Government, non-agriculture, and retail trade industries
paid the highest incomes in George County and represented the largest
percentages of total personal income.
Other findings of the analysis include the following:
" The population of George County was 19,144
in 2000 and is projected to grow to 22,650 by 2010, an increase
of 18.3 percent.
" The median age for George County is 33.3, which
is comparable to both the state and the nation.
" The economy of George County is more subsidized
than the economy of Mississippi. Transfer payments such as Social
Security, unemployment compensation, welfare and disability payments
accounted for 25 percent of total personal income in 2002. In Mississippi,
transfer payments account for only 21.6 percent.
" Retail sales in 2003 grossed over $136 million,
resulting in over $8.5 million in gross sales tax revenue. The highest
sales occurred in the apparel and general merchandise, automotive,
and food and beverages sectors.
An economic base analysis identifies and analyzes
information and activities that provide the core employment and
income on which the rest of the local economy depends. This information
about the structure of the local economy can help local developers
and officials identify the opportunities and constraints that exist
for effective planning and development.
An economic base analysis provides only a snapshot
of the local economy as it exists or recently existed. Further and
more in-depth analyses are available from the CCED. For more information,
call (601) 266-6067.