Mississippi is suffering the effects of a COVID-19-induced recession, deeper than any since the end of World War II, and can expect a long recovery even after it ends, State Economist Dr. Darrin Webb said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing this morning.
Webb shared projections anticipating unemployment in Mississippi reaching a peak of around 20% by the third quarter of 2020, but expressed confidence that the “deep recession” would not linger after the crisis abates, anticipating high growth rates for the state in 2021 and 2022.
Still, the state economist cautioned that the economic outlook for Mississippi was deeply negative, and that traditionally the state lags behind the U.S. in economic recoveries. Webb suggested Mississippi would recover by 2023 “at the earliest.”
The Mississippi Legislature returned to the Capitol building today, with the Senate gaveling in at 10 a.m. just ahead of an Appropriations Committee hearing. More than 800 Hinds County employees returned to work today as well. The Hinds County Board of Supervisors ordered the closure on April 2. County buildings opening up must provide masks and temperature checks for all returning employees and have installed contact barriers like plexiglass shields for the public.
COVID-19 numbers after Saturday’s spike remained around the low end of the ongoing “plateau.” The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 247 new cases on Sunday and 206 on Monday. This morning, MSDH’s update revealed another 273 Mississippians infected with COVID-19, for a total of 13,731. The seven-day, May 19 through May 26 rolling average of new infections is 290.
Nine Mississippians died from COVID-19-related complications yesterday. MSDH reported eight additional coronavirus fatalities from prior investigations, for a total of 652 since the beginning of the crisis.
Hospitalization metrics remain steady across the board: all recent momentary dips in total COVID-19 hospitalizations are the result of information gaps in the