Nissan’s economic impact in Mississippi continues to show strong growth

JACKSON, Miss. – Nissan North America’s Canton Manufacturing Facility continues to have a significant economic impact in Mississippi, according to a research study conducted by the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) at Mississippi State University.

Mimmo Parisi (Photo by Russ Houston)

Nissan, which opened in 2003, currently employs more than 6,000 Mississippians and creates an additional 2.9 jobs for every job at Nissan. The NSPARC research shows approximately 25,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created throughout Mississippi as a result of Nissan.

“The investment Mississippi made in attracting Nissan as the state’s first automotive assembly plant is paying huge dividends for our state,” said the Rev. Dr. Dolphus Weary, Co-Chair of Move Mississippi Forward and President and Co-Founder of R.E.A.L. Christian Foundation. The NSPARC study was conducted for Move Mississippi Forward (MMF) as a follow up to research in 2013.

Nissan’s opening signaled a shift toward advanced manufacturing throughout the state. Since then, Mississippi has become a globally competitive location and over the past 13 years has attracted several major national and international advanced manufacturing companies, including Toyota, Airbus Helicopters, Steel Dynamics, PACCAR, Yokohama, and most recently, Continental Tire.

“Projects such as Nissan and so many of the others that have followed, create true economic opportunities all across Mississippi,” said Duane O’Neill, President and CEO of the Greater Jackson Partnership, who also serves as Co-Chair of Move Mississippi Forward. “Nissan’s economic impact is huge for our state and local governments as well, as more than $300 million in tax revenue is generated each year.”

The report takes an analytical look at the ways Nissan has impacted our state. Among the economic indicators explored were GDP, employment, income, tax revenue and population.

The 2016 study shows:

  • $300 million in annual state & local tax revenue – up from $180 million in 2013
  • $2.6 billion in disposable income annually – up from $1.2 billion in 2013
  • $2.9 billion to the annual state GDP – up from $2.5 billion in 2013
  • 9,000 new jobs statewide since 2013 (25,000 total now vs 16,000 in 2013)
  • Median family income is up in Madison County by $2,673 ($75,673 now vs $73,000 in 2013) – national average is $65,443

“With the arrival of Nissan in 2003, Mississippi has become globally competitive,” said Dr. Mimmo Parisi, Executive Director of NSPARC. “In the final analysis, one can clearly conclude that Nissan Canton has made a big impact on the state of Mississippi, serving as a catalyst for supporting and expanding the economic growth in the state.”

Blake Wilson, President and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council and an MMF board member, said Mississippi is viewed differently as a result of the state attracting Nissan.

“Nissan, using a Mississippi workforce, put us on the map for economic development and has truly put Mississippi in the place of greatest opportunity,” Wilson said.

“Locating Nissan here was the first step, and it has led to many more economic development victories,” said Jay Moon, President and CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association. “It was extremely important for Mississippi to make a commitment to advanced manufacturing.”

Weary pointed out that Nissan’s impact goes beyond just the economic metrics, as the company has provided more than $12 million in corporate contributions to various civic and community organizations. Also, Nissan employees have volunteered in a variety of ways, including logging over 400 volunteer hours with the Canton Public Schools.

“It’s easy to see from the research the direct economic impact Nissan has had on our state,” Weary said. “However, Nissan and its employees have had a far greater reach into our communities, by giving back, making a difference and changing lives.”

MMF board member Debra McGee, Director of Minority Business at BankPlus, said the jobs created by Nissan have opened doors for employees that weren’t open before.

“There are opportunities for home ownership, and these are careers that create the ability for Nissan employees to provide for and take care of their families,” McGee said. “The true impact of Nissan is how it has improved the lives of so many of our citizens.”