Among the findings:
State governments began to wean themselves in fiscal year 2012 from the record-high federal assistance that followed the Great Recession. As federal stimulus money declined, overall state spending fell with it. Pew found. But total 50-state spending was still relatively high as a share of the economy, when compared with the past 20 years.
Mississippi received 45.3 percent of its revenue from the federal government, according to Pew researchers. For the 50 states, the percentage was 31.6 percent. Mississippi's number continue to decline but it is still far above 2001's 34.8 percent. In 2007, Mississippi received a record high 51.3 percent of its revenue from the feds.
In Mississippi, spending by the state in fiscal 2012 was 17.7 percent of personal income (9.7 percent state and 8 percent federal). That was down slightly from 2009 and far below the 20.3 percent in fiscal 2007 but higher than at anytime in the 1990s.
Mississippi's employment rate fell from 74.9 percent in 2007 to 71.6 in 2012. Pew said this decline means less revenue for state governments from personal and business income taxes and sales tax— and often increased strain on assistance programs.
Pew researchers found the state was among the 31 states that had the largest share of its debt from unfunded pension liabilities, $11.6 billion. It also had $5.3 billion in debt and $728 million in unfunded retiree health care costs.