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Missouri Labor Market Grinds to Halt

It is going to take more than a little grease to get things going, which means it is probably time for an overhaul.

It will be tough, if not impossible, to put a positive spin on the newest jobless numers for Missouri.

The number of employees in the labor force fell by 22,541 in May compared to the same month last year, according to new data released after Missouri Journal filed a Sunshine Law request.

While the unemployment rate remained the same at 7.3 percent throughout May, nonfarm payrolls across the state fell by 7,300 during last month.

As Missouri Journal first reported last month, more people in the state started jobs than left the labor force for the first time this year during April.

In May, however, more people throughout the state lost their jobs than exited the labor force.

People often ask me what I think needs to be done to turn around the labor market in the state.

They are also curious as to why it is necessary to file a Sunshine Law request to get the labor data.

I usually respond that it would be a helpful start if the Missouri Department of Economic Development would provide the labor data along with the press release touting "job creation" by the government.

But it goes beyond that. While openness would help, the gears have ground to a halt and it is going to take more than a little grease to get things going, which means it is probably time for an overhaul.

I am not, however, calling for any more government solutions. We've had enough of those for as long as I can remember. Instead, for once, I would like businesses to be allowed to take care of business.

(Side note: This also means businesses need to stop asking for government handouts.)

Besides, as I wrote on last month, . It is the issue to campaign on this election season. But when they call themselves job creators, ask them how they're creating jobs.

Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear a politician, at least once, admit that he or she would likely do more to help improve the economy by staying out of the way, not intervening and not mucking anything up.

Maybe this is why I report about the economy instead of writing public policy or running for office.

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missourijournal.com, (314) 482-7944

Hook is editor of Missouri Journal, which tracks the economy across the Show-Me State

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Andrew Nelson June 25, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Some of the comments here suggest that people don't believe how the middle class creates jobs. There is a short simple video that explains. The video isn't perfect but it does explain the position. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI
Larry Lazar June 25, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Did either of you do your own research on this, or did you just accept what you read on Breitbart or Fox News? Below is the link to the trancript of the press release. http://www.dol.gov/dol/media/audio/20120416-mediacall-transcript.pdf Yes, Devon, it's "Socialism".
Andrew Nelson June 25, 2012 at 05:14 PM
So our government is allowing reporters to get early access to information so that they can write articles and prepare graphs before it is made public. The only requirement is that because they are being given non public information it needs to be kept on secure government computers until public. So what?? This isn't socialism or anything of the sort. The fact that they give reporters early access and previously allowed such access on non government controlled computers is what is really scary!.. Think about it. We know that cyber-terrorism is a growing threat to the US. We know that China is working hard to steal US information. We need to be VERY VIGILANT about where we keep non public information, even if it is information that will soon be made public. I'm an IT guy so maybe I understand the security implications better than some others here.
Devon Seddon June 25, 2012 at 06:47 PM
No one says the rich shouldn't be taxed. This is the misrepresentation. The point is, people want to tax the rich to support government irresponsibility & overspending. The subject to them is always 'tax the rich'. Again, addressing the symptom, and taking advantage of the illness. How about backing down the government spending & involvement in things it doesn't understand. I've already illustrated how it doesn't understand simple supply & demand. If businesses are over-taxed, or over-regulated, they go somewhere else to do business. Again, ask Ford & Chrysler. Where'd they go? What happened to their employees? The rich are not responsible for the malfeasance of the government. See, this idea works the same for them. They collect more from the rich, but continue their poor fiscal responsibility. How does that fix anything? It doesn't, it only guarantees we have to do it again & again & again.
Devon Seddon June 25, 2012 at 07:11 PM
PS Taxing businesses also increases the price of their product - Reducing the number of customers - Reducing the need for as many employees.

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