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WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) — Mississippi’s economy is growing slowly, but it’s missing one big piece of the puzzle, a top state economist says.

Bob Neal, senior economist for the Institutions for Higher Learning, says the state’s job growth last year was a sign the economy is returning to a solid foundation.

But more jobs aren’t translating into more disposable income. That’s slowing down business and sales tax growth that’s critical to state and local government budgets.

“A positive sign for Mississippi would be to see some increase in average annual wages. Employment was pretty good in the previous year, but wages and salary growth was basically flat,” Neal said.

Neal spoke Thursday to the West Point Rotary Club.

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