Job Growth in Missouri: Depends on Where You Live
Missouri’s nonfarm employment growth over the past year significantly lags nearly every other state. The picture is somewhat brighter for several of Missouri’s metropolitan areas, however.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent data release (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/metro.pdf) allows us to compare job creation in Missouri to that in other states over the past year. Between January 2015 and January 2016 the number of employees on nonfarm payrolls in Missouri increased by only 0.7 percent. (The figures used in this report are based on non–seasonally adjusted data.) Though better than in the six states where employment numbers actually declined, Missouri’s job growth is much slower than that of most other states: Missouri ranks 38th in new nonfarm employment growth over the past year. And when compared with its neighbors, Missouri’s record of job growth is below average (1%), and notably worse than Tennessee (3.2%) and Arkansas (2.3%).
Missouri’s job growth was weak, but is this reflective of the metropolitan areas? The table below shows that, on average, jobs increased at a 1.6 percent rate across the eight metropolitan areas. The percent change in nonfarm employment ranges from a high of 4.6 percent in Columbia to a low of 0.5 percent in Cape Girardeau. In Kansas City and St. Louis, the two metropolitan areas that together account for about 85 percent of nonfarm employment in Missouri, job growth outpaced the rest of the state: In Kansas City nonfarm employment increased by 2 percent while in St. Louis it rose by 1.2 percent.
Percent change in nonfarm payrolls
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics