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St. Louis Region Gets a Mixed Bag of Economic News

Find out which counties are falling behind and which are getting ahead. Learn how much is being spent on health care. Plus, get tips on how to look up state expenditures.

While more counties across the country saw an increase in total compensation of employees than experienced a decline last year, the economic picture is not as clear in the St. Louis region.

Total compensation increased in 2,480 counties and declined in 633 counties across the country in 2010, according to a research report published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The average annual compensation per job across the country, meanwhile, increased 2.7 percent in 2010 to $58,451, the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce reports.

Across the St. Louis region, however, some counties experienced growth in compensation of employees, while others witnessed a drop.

Compensation fell by 1.3 percent in St. Louis County and dropped in Jefferson County.

In St. Charles County, compensation increased. 

The largest contraction in compensation throughout the plains region, according to the BEA research, was in Bollinger County, south of St. Louis, where total compensation fell by 33.7 percent.

Health care spending increases in Missouri

Spending on health care is on the rise across the Show-Me State.

Spending per capita averaged $6,967 -- increasing on average by 5.1 percent annually between 2004 and 2009 -- according to a research report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The average total for Missouri is $152 higher than the national average of $6,815.

As Missouri Journal reported, spending on Medicaid per enrollee amounted to $1,572 more in Missouri than the national average. Spending averaged $8,398 in Missouri in 2009.

Medicare spending in Missouri was lower, totaling $9,724 per enrollee compared to a national average of $10,365, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency.

The research examined health care costs for all 50 states from 1991 to 2009.

Tracking the economy across Missouri

After launching a presence on Twitter and Facebook this fall, followed by a on Patch websites around the St. Louis region, Missouri Journal is now online at MissouriJournal.com.

From business to politics, Missouri Journal will track the economy across the Show-Me State.

As mentioned in the inagural story on Missouri Journal, whether the news is from the private sector or the public sector, the goal will remain the same. If it is effecting the economy, it is news.

In addition to providing news and commentary about the economy, Missouri Journal will use the analysis category to highlight resources you can use to track down economic-related information.

The first analysis story explained how to find information on the Missouri Accountability Portal, which is touted as a "single point of reference" to review how taxpayer's money is spent by the state.

Learn how to search the amount of money spent by categories, including state employee salaries, stimulus money that Missouri has received, and tax credits issued for projects across the state.

If you uncover anything interesting, let me know.

In addition to comments left here on and on Missouri Journal, I enjoy receiving news tips.

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

Hook is editor of Missouri Journal, which tracks the economy across the Show-Me State. For news updates, sign up for a newsletter and follow Missouri Journal on Twitter and Facebook.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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