MSAs on the Rebound (cover)
Pascagoula Bounces Back
Challenges and Opportunities
MSAs on the Rebound
or readers outside the Gulf Coast region,
Scott has just completed the third of four reports sponsored by Capital One N.A. that detail the economic health of affected MSAs according to 13 key indicators. (The fourth installment of the report will come out in late February, after the Department of Labor issues its year- end employment numbers.) The latest edition, "Advancing in the Aftermath III: Tracking the Recovery from Katrina and Rita," concentrates on several Louisiana MSAs and Gulfport- Biloxi and Pascagoula in Mississippi. The focus here is on the Mississippi MSAs. Gulfport- Biloxi and Pascagoula are nearby geographically, but their economic circumstances are fairly unique.
"The primary reason I am optimistic about Gulfport- Biloxi is the passage of House Bill 45, which allows the casinos to rebuild onshore," says Scott. "The casinos have responded very quickly to that in terms of rebuilding bigger and better – and in many cases moving towards a resort- style casino as opposed to a barge- style casino." About a dozen of the more labor- intensive facilities had come online by press time, and several others were on the drawing board.
Another reason to be optimistic about Gulfport is Edison Chouest Shipyards' interest in opening a new shipyard there.
"Manufacturing has never been very big in Gulfort- Biloxi, but if you combine the large casino industry with the marginal improvement in manufacturing there, I feel pretty good about that area," says Scott.
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