The State of Working Mississippi 2016

JSRI released the State of Working Mississippi 2016 report to coincide with the recent Labor Day holiday. The report examines current and historical data related to wages, labor force participation, job market, education, assets and poverty in Mississippi. It also includes proposed policy solutions related to the findings.

A few key findings from the report include:

  • In May 2016, Mississippi still had 18,400 jobs fewer than it had before the Great Recession.
  • 53,290 working Mississippi families live in poverty, or 18% of all working families in the state, making Mississippi the state with the highest rate of working poor families in the country.
  • Mississippi workers in the lowest wage group (10th percentile) have experienced a 6.4% decrease in real wages since 1979, while those in the highest wage group (90th percentile) experienced a 24% increase in real wages.
  • In 2015 the median wage in Mississippi was $14.49 per hour, which was still below the pre-Recession level of $14.67 per hour in 2007. On the other hand, wages for the highest earners (90th percentile) increased from $30.26 in 2007 to $32.10 in 2015.
  • In 2014 Mississippi spent $8,263 per student in its public school system compared to the national average of $11,009 per student.
  • In 2015 just 21.8% of Mississippians had a Bachelor’s degree compared to 32.5% nationwide.
  • Nearly half (48%) of Mississippi private sector employees do not have employer-sponsored healthcare, 61% do not have an employer-sponsored pension, and 47% do not have any paid sick leave.