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Hattiesburg MS - Hub City for Jobs and Transportation

Updated on July 9, 2015
Paul B. Johnson State Park, just to the south of Hattiesburg.
Paul B. Johnson State Park, just to the south of Hattiesburg.

Retail, Food, and Healthcare Industries

Hattieburg, Mississippi is in an interesting location, because it lies at the intersection of a transportation hub at I-59 and US-98, and others; but also because the state's labor department is named the Mississippi Department of Job Security.

The job security aspect places emphasis on development and retention of jobs and workers, rather than on unemployment services. As a college town that creates ongoing new jobs through its schools and businesses, Hattieburg is on the Top 20 College Towns, having increased jobs consistently overall during the recession years of 2008 and 2009.

A substantial portion of AARA Stimulus Job funding has been set aside by the state for Green Jobs and development, a progressive move. Mississippi Stimulus included the ARRA funding amount of $2.8 Million to the state.

Funding in Hattieburg accounts for projects that involve Hattiesburg Public Schools, the justice system, sidewalks, and water treatment, especially from November through December 2009.

Job listings have increased overall in the Hattiesburg Metro Area since 2009, featuring the most openings in Retail, Healthcare, Restaurants and Food Service, and Customer Service in a variety of fields. Truck Driving has added many job openings as well.

Major Mississippi Markets

Hattiesburg MS:
Hattiesburg, MS, USA

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Jackson MS:
Jackson, MS, USA

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Gulfport MS:
Gulfport, MS, USA

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Local Travel Attractions

  • Desoto National Forest -- This local natural attraction is the largest national forest in the state and is located both northeast and southeast of Hattiesburg. Several major roads and highways pass through the scenic landscape, including US 98.

Southern College Town Background

Hattiesburg is home to the renowned University of Southern Mississippi as well as several other institutions of higher learning. The city is also home to a number of cultural attractions, festivals, and other special events.

Hattieburg has won numerous recognitions and awards, including recognition as a Best Retirement Community from Where to Retiremagazine, in part for its affordability. At the same time, National Geographic recently named it to the Top 50 Adventure Towns, so it's not dull at all.

The city has developed an artistic flair in its constantly developing Historic Downtown District, especially through its architecture, arts shops, and galleries. Popular attractions include the local train depot and the Historic Saenger Theater. A developing downtown area and well known colleges and universities help a city to offer good jobs and a higher standard of living even during a recession.

This city has another attraction that is a one-of-a-kind in the state. This is Longleaf Trace, the state's first and only Certified Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Project. It preserves history as it heps maintain the environment. The University of Southern Mississippi provides the gateway to the project, along with bike rentals, maps, and information about the 42 miles of trails.

US Veterans and others will enjoy the local Mississippi Armed Forces Museum (free admission) to the immediate south of Hattiesburg, offering 1,000s of displays from American military history and life-sized dioramas. World War I trench warfare is one of these life-sized fantastic displays.

Old Union Station

Local Train Depot in the 1900s (photos public domain).
Local Train Depot in the 1900s (photos public domain).

Hub City Transportation

Hattiesburg was settled beginning in 1882 by William H. Hardy, a lumberman and civil engineer that moved into the area. With him came Irish, English, and Scottish settlers that left Georgia and the Carolinas to harvest the pine forests of the Hattiesburg region of Southern Mississippi. They may have traveled for some time along pathways that became I-77 in the Eastern US. Given several names after incorporation in 1884, Hattiesburg stuck, since it was the name of Hardy’s wife Hattie.

The Southern Railway System came through in 1884 from Meridian MS an on through to New Orleans. Pine timber became a hot commodity after this transport system was put to use. Mills and naval stores, and turpentine plants arose quickly. Additional rail lines came through by 1897. These lines constructed a deep water harbor and the City if Gulfport as well, increasing businesses and populations from Hattiesburg to New Orleans.

World Wars I and II brought the rise of Camp Shelby, the largest base east of the Mississippi River, and home to the popular military museum. After WWII to the 2000s, Hattiesburg continued to develop in transportation, shipping, retail, food service, and healthcare sectors, as the University of Southern Mississippi grew in stature and importance. Cultural and preservation societies added other benefits to residents and visitors while maintaining the history and charm of the city and environment.

Hattiesburg MS:
Hattiesburg, MS, USA

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US Navy Seabees, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 build a "Southwest Asia hut" at Camp Shelby during field training.
US Navy Seabees, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 build a "Southwest Asia hut" at Camp Shelby during field training.

Comparison 2009 to 2010: Improvement That Extended Through the 2010s

The job market in Hattiesburg and the rounding 25 mile radius has improved, as shown by the data below that is provided by and, which collect all job listings from Internet sources. Additional jobs not appearing on the Internet are not included here.

It has been asserted in the past that Hattieburg offers only waitressing jobs at inconvenient hours and such is not the case. The largest numbers of jobs are available in

  1. Restaurant Management and Crew/Drivers in equal numbers
  2. Information Technology
  3. Manufacturing and Sales Reps for products
  4. Transportation
  5. Healthcare Services

Jobs Increased 54% in 18 Months ending Nov. 30, 2010.

Initial job losses beginning September 2009 were partially regained, with job listings increasing into 2011. [Data provided by, a job search engine.]
Initial job losses beginning September 2009 were partially regained, with job listings increasing into 2011. [Data provided by, a job search engine.]

Top 10 High Demand Jobs

Current Hot Jobs

  1. Truck Drivers - CDL LIcenses
  2. Retail Store Assistant Managers
  3. DataStage and Object Builder Developers - IT
  4. Physical Therapists - Health
  5. Vehicle Mechanics
  6. Cognos Administrators - IT
  7. Outside Sales Representatives - Retail and Services
  8. Family Physicians - Health
  9. Pizza Hut Servers/Team Members and Shift Managers - Food and Dining
  10. Systems Integration Testers - IT

Past Comparison: 2010

  1. Restaurant General Managers & Restaurant Managers
  2. .Net Developers
  3. Territory Sales Mgrs and Reps
  4. Java Developers
  5. Truck Owner Operators
  6. Quality Engineers in aluminum machining
  7. Material Planners
  8. Maintenance Supervisors
  9. Physicians for Family Practice
  10. Quality Managers

Past Comparison: 2009

  1. Retail Merchandisers
  2. Restaurant Gen. Mgrs & Assts
  3. Physicians, Physical Therapists, and Nurses (RNs)
  4. Tax Professionals
  5. Inventory Supervisors
  6. Cashiers and Customer Service Representatives (tied)
  7. Store Co-Managers & Asst. Mgrs
  8. Team Members - Food and retail
  9. Sales Representatives
  10. Lead Salespersons and salespersons

Top Hiring Companies


  1. Several Regional Trucking Companies
  2. Community Health Systems
  3. Deloitte
  4. Pizza Hut - Salaried Management and hourly Crew positions
  5. Home Depot
  6. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)
  7. Securus
  8. Best Buy
  9. Hattiesburg Clinic
  10. Amedisys Home Heal;th
  11. Willilam Carey University
  12. Regency Hospital
  13. Sears, Roebuck & Co
  14. Seaboard Healthcare
  15. Various Big Box stores

Government Projected High Growth Jobs to 2016

Job categories denoted in bold print are those that have been already in high demand in daily job listings 2010 - 2012 and 2014.

  1. Physicians - especially Family Practice
  2. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  3. Health Aides of all types and Medical Assistants (MAs)
  4. Computer Systems Analysts
  5. Purchasing Agents and Compliance Officers
  6. Mental Health and Social Services Jobs
  7. Cooks and Food Prep Jobs and related - includes restaurant "crew" and "team."
  8. Retail Salespersons
  9. Information and Records Clerks
  10. Customer Service Representatives

Hattiesburg Area Hospitals

Check websites provided directly for job openings.

Hub City Higher Education

School in and around Hattiesburg, which make ti the college town that it is include:

  1. Alabama Southern Community College at Gilbertown
  2. Antonelli College
  3. William Carey University
  4. Jones County Junior College at Ellisville
  5. Mississippi State University at Purvis
  6. Pearl River Community College
  7. Southeastern Baptist College at Laurel
  8. University of Southern Mississippi at Hattiesburg- A special attraction here aside form the Rails to Trails Project is the All-American Rose Garden, which is quite popular. This school is one of only a dozen colleges and universities in America accredited for all of these artistic disciplines: dance, music, theatre, and visual arts.


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