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Rik W. Hafer

Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, the Missouri economy has recovered slowly relative to the nation as a whole. This is nowhere more in evidence than in the employment and payroll numbers. Using data released in December by the Census Bureau we can get a picture of how successful Missouri has been in creating jobs and raising payrolls relative to the national average. The data cover the period from 2010 to 2014, the most recent year available. Instead of looking at just the aggregated numbers, the table below breaks down these figures by size of firm.

Employment in small firms—those with fewer than 20 employees—declined in Missouri following the recession. The U.S. overall eked out a only small increase in this category. For all other firm sizes, employment in Missouri establishments increased at a pace slower than the national average.

Payrolls in Missouri generally rose at a significantly slower rate than in the nation overall. This holds true across all sizes of firms. Only for large firms—those with more than 500 employees—was the increase in payrolls similar in Missouri and the nation.

Percentage Changes in Employment and Payroll, 2010–2014
Firm Size by EmploymentEmploymentPayroll
 MissouriUnited StatesMissouriUnited States


About the Author

Rik Hafer

Rik Hafer is a Show-Me Institute research fellow and a professor of economics and the Director of the Center for Economics and the Environment at Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri.