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Stennis a solid booster of gulf region economy

Rocket noise that can be heard for miles around the John C. Stennis Space Center strikes a sweet note for Mississippi’s economy. The impact is estimated at $616 million annually for a region that takes in a 50-mile radius of the center tucked into the southwest corner of Mississippi near Bay St. Louis. Without the center, the region would lose about 23,000 direct and indirect jobs, a February 2010 report on the Stennis Center’s economic impact concludes.

Personal income would have been reduced by $1.03 billion; and retail sales would have been reduced by $617.5 million according to the NASA-commissioned study by Dr. Charles A. Campbell, professor of economics at Mississippi State University.

Here’s a look at the Stennis workforce:

>> NASA and contractors – 2,203

(Stennis federal civil servants, 414; contractors and other, 1,789)

>> U.S. Department of Defense and contractors – 2,489

(Department of Navy and contractors, 2,138; Department of Army and contractors, 351)

>> U.S. Department of Commerce and contractors – 240

>> Other Resident Agencies – 476

The average annual salary with benefits is $87,000, NASA says.

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