PRESS RELEASE – Courtesy of WCBI
Golden Triangle, Mississippi – POLICOM Corporation, an independent economic research firm, has released its economic strength rankings for 2016. Data from 1995 to 2014 was used to create the 2016 rankings.
Though its ranking decreased from 10 to 39, Columbus maintained its place in the top seven percent of the nation and the second highest ranked Micropolitan in Mississippi.
Starkville declined slightly, dropping from 216 to 229. West Point, due largely to commuting patterns, has yet to break back into the Micropolitan category.
“The decline in the rankings of the [Columbus Micro] is the direct loss of about 1,500 heavy construction jobs, most or all were involved in factory construction. When the factory work was completed, the jobs disappeared,” said Bill Fruth, CEO of the POLICOM Corporation. “Basically, you declined because you were successful.”
According to the website, POLICOM addresses the condition of an economy from the viewpoint of its impact upon the “standard of living,” of the people who live and work in an area. The highest ranked areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time. The lowest ranked areas have been in volatile decline for an extended period of time.
“We experienced one of the largest declines in indirect construction jobs recently, and can attribute our drop mostly to that loss,” said Joe Max Higgins, Jr., CEO of the GTR LINK. “We’re working several large projects now, and if any were secured, we anticipate to reverse the decline in our rankings in the Golden Triangle.”
Greenwood, Natchez, Picayune and Brookhaven were the only four communities to see a rise in rank, and Oxford maintained their position.