Mississippi Public Universities
IHL Press Release
JUNE ECONOMIC REVIEW AND OUTLOOK FOCUSES ON ECONOMIC FORECAST; SOLVING POVERTY PROBLEM
6/26/2008 - Jackson, Miss.

The June issue of the Mississippi Economic Review and Outlook, published by the Center for Policy Research and Planning of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), is now available online at mississippi.edu/urc. The articles in this issue focus on the national economic outlook, the state economic outlook, teen pregnancy, and solving the poverty problem in the state.

National Economic Outlook. High gasoline prices and falling home values are slowing consumer spending. During the summer, tax rebate checks will boost expenditures, but the upswing will be temporary. Overall, the slow growth rates characterizing the national economy are expected to persist until spring of 2009.

Mississippi Economic Forecast. Mississippi is feeling the effects of the national slump. Housing, manufacturing and, more recently, retail trade have all been hit. Indicators point to a moderate slowdown, although the numbers so far remain mixed.

Employment on the Coast is just about back to pre-Katrina levels, although construction is up and leisure and hospitality employment down relative to 2004. The pace of reconstruction has slowed as the national housing crisis continues. About $8.3 billion of federal aid to the state remains to be disbursed.

Solving the Poverty Problem in Mississippi. Solving the poverty problem here begins with addressing the prerequisites to boosting employment earnings. Low educational levels, high disability rates, and issues such as health insurance and child care must be considered. Dr. Marianne Hill considers the recommendations of recent reports on programs across the country addressing these and other issues.

Teen Motherhood: Trends and Consequences. Dr. Barbara Logue examines recent trends in teen motherhood in the state, and offers her assessment of policy measures that have been proposed to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy here. "We must address questions of attitudes, values, and motivation if the problems caused by premature parenthood are ever to be resolved," she concludes.

For more information, contact Dr. Marianne Hill, senior economist, at 601-432-6376. The full text of the Mississippi Economic Review and Outlook is available at mississippi.edu/urc.

Under the leadership of the Board of Trustees, IHL governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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