The rating on Mississippi's bonds is based on the favorable effects of various budgetary reforms, a significantly improved financial position, and relatively strong economic growth, partly caused by new gaming-related activities. Employment growth, especially in the manufacturing and service sectors, lowered the state's unemployment rate to 4.9% in December 1995 from 10.3% in 1985. Although the rate rose in 1996, it was 4.8% in April 1998. Much of the employment growth occurred between 1992-1994, when an estimated 70,200 jobs were created, many related to gaming activities. Employment growth for the state is expected to be slow through 2000, ranking 47th among the states at an annual rate of just 1.1%. The state increased its investment in its educational system through...
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