Missouri Needs At Least 161,000 New Jobs

While employment numbers nationally may be improving, Missouri lags behind other states when it comes to putting people back to work.

While employment numbers nationally may be improving, Missouri lags behind other states when it comes to putting people back to work.

The Show-Me State needs a gain of 161,000 jobs to get back to the pre-recession employment level in the state, according to research by economist Ernie Goss at Creighton University.

Out of nine states he tracks in the region, Missouri needs to add the highest number of new jobs, increasing employment by 6.1 percent.

"Among the nine Mid-America states, Missouri has lost more jobs to the recession and subsequent economic weakness than any other state," said Goss, who releases data monthly.

"While Missouri's manufacturing sector is recording solid improvements, other industries, such as telecommunications, continue to experience pullbacks in business activity."

As Missouri Journal reported, out of only three states across the country that lost a statistically significant number of jobs in December, Missouri placed first on the list by losing 11,800 jobs.

Fewer layoffs, lower unemployment

While not a sign of new hiring, the state did report fewer layoffs. Initial weekly unemployment claims dropped by 3,223 last week across the state, according to data by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Missouri was one of 25 states across the country with a decrease of more than 1,000 claims.

While the weekly initial unemployment claims provide more of an immediate economic gauge of the job market across the state, the monthly unemployment and payroll numbers provide more details.

Despite a fall in payrolls, unemployment across Missouri dropped to 8 percent in December.

In the St. Louis metropolitan area, unemployment fell to 8.3 percent in December compared to 9.4 perecent during the same month in 2010, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, unemployment increased month-over-month from 8.1 percent in November.

Payrolls in St. Louis increased 1.4 percent from 1.43 million to 1.45 million year-over-year.

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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Karl Frank Jr. February 04, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Ok, so Missouri employers added 20,000 jobs in 2011, but we need to add 161,000 to be pre-recession of 2007 numbers? If the missouri to national ratio holds, based on current trends, we should look to add 30,000 to 50,000 in 2012. Does that sound about right? What are most economist predicting for Missouri this year?
karrygdar February 05, 2012 at 09:14 PM
If companies weren't so greedy and either moving entire manufacturiing plants to other countries or off-shoring professional jobs, for example in IT, then we wouldn't be in mess that we are in. No loyalty by large employers. However, the top positions still earn their completely over-inflated salaries. And yes, my husband, in IT, was laid off in 2009 by a national corporation here after 25 years of service so I am bitter about this. In addition I work with persons with disabilities who want to work and it is pretty impossible for this category of people to get hired especially when there disability is obvious.
Elizabeth February 06, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Loyalty is a two-way street. If many employees were less greedy it would help too. Everyone wants flexible hours, total benefits (including spouses & kids), a month worth of paid vacation, sick days, company paid education, high pay, etc., etc, etc. Most employers are happy to take care of their best employees, but when the hand is always out and those same employees don't want to reciprocate and help the employer out you have a recipe for jobs moving away. Couple that with the government giving tax incentives to their buddies like GE who consistently move out of country and the rest of us end up on the losing side. Yes, there are greedy companies, but there are also greedy employees. Both are to blame for our economic woes.
Brian R. Hook February 06, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Goss previously predicted Missouri is expected to place last again out of the nine-state region this year with projected economic growth of 0.7 percent: http://is.gd/yVpjwx His index tracks several indicators, including employment: - BRH
Bill Phelan February 07, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Wealthy corporate leaders, eager to escape union labor demands (and wages) lobbied congress to create laws that made it easy for them to take manufacturing overseas and to Mexico. Some of these same law makers are now screaming for more American jobs in order to save face, and their own polticial hides. It is unfortunate that the American people don't hold these politicians to task, but rather re-elect them, over and over again.


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