By just about any measure, the economy is slowly getting better, both nationally and in the state.
Here at home there was good economic news last week as the 16-county region’s unemployment rates were released, and the overall rate – 8.6 percent — is the lowest in nearly four years.
Union County got even better news with a 7.3 percent rate, down from 8 percent in September. Only two counties in the region are doing better. Pontotoc has a 7.2 percent unemployment rate and Lafayette has 5.9 percent. Lee County was 8.3 percent.
With the unemployment rate headed down, we think it’s time for our state and local governments to think about strategic infrastructure investments.
Time has caught up with much of the nation’s infrastructure, whether it is roads and bridges, water and sewer lines, or public facilities.
There is no better time than now to prioritize needs and secure the necessary bonding to finance them. The cost of borrowing money by state and local governments is at an historic low, ranging between 1.5 percent and 3 percent, depending on the length of the bonds.
Paying for needed improvements at today’s prices before costs and interest rates rise is a sound economic policy that not only puts our infrastructure on a sound footing for the future, but also spurs the economy and creates more jobs.