A big tire plant in Mississippi is the largest project in the region.
Unemployment is higher than the national average.
Mississippi added 6,300 new construction jobs through the first eight months of 2013.
"On a year-over-year basis, lighting equipment shipments climbed 4.9 percent. Increased demand for fixtures, emergency lighting and miniature lamps buoyed the index by compensating for decreases in ballasts and large lamps."