Mississippi vs. Michigan: Mississippi Is Winning
Although Michigan's unemployment rate improved in May to 6.9% from 7.1% in April, Michigan ranked #51 for the highest jobless rate in the country (Washington, D.C. is included). For about the the last three years, Michigan and Misssissippi have been fighting for the #51 spot for the state with the highest jobless rate in the country, and in most months Michigan has claimed it, except during the 2005 hurricane (see graph above, click to enlarge). For May, Michigan's jobless rate (6.9%) is almost a full percent above Mississippi's rate of 6%, a rate (6%) that Michigan hasn't seen in more than five years.
On the other hand, it look like Mississippi's economy will continue to improve moving forward, according to this report in the Clarion-Ledger: Employment numbers have returned to their high pre-Katrina levels, indicating the healthiest job market since the August 2005 hurricane.
Recent job increases in Mississippi represent "really good growth for any state," not just for one that has suffered as Mississippi has, said state economist Phil Pepper.