Economists say Mississippi gained some manufacturing jobs in September, but they say industries like apparel, furniture, auto supply and paper mills may never return at full strength.
Economists say Mississippi instead will have to pin its hopes on retraining laid-off workers for other sectors that are adding jobs and also helping companies still here become more competitive.
Mississippi gained 500 manufacturing jobs in September, much improved over August when 2800 factory jobs were cut.
The state's jobless rate is down, with all three major metropolitan areas showing strong improvement in September as service jobs were added, and the Nissan plant and its suppliers are bringing well-paying jobs to the state.
Economists say rural areas have and will continue to suffer from the cumulative loss of manufacturing jobs in industries that have been permanently weakened.