Mississippi Economic Council – GodwinGroup
Economic State of the State Shows Growing Economic Optimism Among Business Leaders Statewide
Business leaders are optimistic about the future of the economy, according to the results of a major statewide independent polling project – the triennial Mississippi Economic Council-GodwinGroup Economic State of the State Survey. With separate scientific surveys of Mississippi business and of voters, the survey’s results may be a leading indicator of improving economic conditions on the horizon.
While eight of 10 business leaders and voters alike rate the current economy as bad, 45% of business believes, Mississippi has weathered the recession better than the rest of the nation, as opposed to only 20% of voters.
What’s more, nearly one-third (32%) of business leaders feel the economy is getting better and over one-fourth (28%) believe they will have more employees by the same time next year. The better news is that only 7% expect to have fewer employees.
Business leaders generally feel a sense of optimism earlier, because they are closer to the changing marketplace. Here in Mississippi business leaders are more directly aware of the positive job-creating and trend-setting economic development project opportunities currently in process, but that won’t be felt as directly by the general public until they actually come on-line in the coming months. For now, voters continue to react to a lingering feeling of pessimism associated with an economic downturn. This is a common trend.
In contrast, business leaders and voters are very similar when it comes to expressing what is important for Mississippi in open-ended top-of-mind questioning.
- Jobs and the economy trumps all at 49% for business and 50% for voters.
- Education and workforce preparedness takes a predominantly strong second at 24% for business and 18% for voters.
The intensity behind these issues is particularly notable, because no other single issue, including crime or health care, places above the single digits among either group surveyed.
“This is a very broad and well-grounded research effort,” said Philip Shirley, co-chairman and CEO of GodwinGroup. “If the information that has been gathered is used wisely, the survey can be a roadmap for charting a course for a more prosperous and competitive state.”