Trendsights Newsletter

MERIC How-to Videos
MERIC is building a library of videos about the data available on the website and how to access it. The videos cover topics such as unemployment data and occupational employment and wages estimates. See the first of these videos and watch this page as new topics are added.
Missouri's Boomtown: Wentzville
“Boomtowns” are considered the fastest-growing cities in the United States due to rapid business and population growth. An example of such a place is Wentzville, Missouri. The town saw large five- and eight-year percentage changes in population of 26.4 percent and 42.8 percent, respectively, along with growth in the number of housing units. Learn more about Wentzville and other boomtowns in this article.
Business Index Decreases
Missouri’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December was 43.6, decreasing 3.6 points from November, according to the monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Survey, conducted by Creighton University. For the first time since the early days of the pandemic in May 2020, the overall Mid America index fell below growth neutral for two consecutive months, pointing to greater economic concerns for 2023. Economists consider the index a key economic indicator measuring such factors as new orders, production, supplier delivery times, backlogs, inventories, prices, employment, import orders and exports. Typically, a score greater than 50 indicates an expansionary economy while a score below 50 forecasts a sluggish economy.
Missouri Language Diversity Brief
Information on language diversity in the state helps inform the public, businesses, agencies, organizations, and other stakeholders of the unique language diversity across Missouri. Ninety-four percent of Missouri residents speak English only. The remaining six percent of residents whose primary language is something other than English can be broken down into two groups: those who are fluent in English and those that have a limited proficiency with the English language. Counties in Missouri that have the largest percentage of the population who speak a language other than English are Sullivan (17.9%), McDonald (12.7%), Pettis (12.1%), Pulaski (11.9%), and Daviess (10.3%).
Growth in U.S. Population Shows Early Indication of Recovery
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released Vintage 2022 national and state population estimates that show, after a historically low rate of change between 2020 and 2021, the U.S. resident population increased by 0.4 percent, or 1,256,003, to 333,287,557 in 2022. The South and West were the fastest growing regions, while the East and Midwest lost residents. Missouri had a population change from 2021 to 2022 of 0.1 percent adding 8,134 residents. Click on the link above to learn more about the change in population by state and region.
Job Ads Comparison - November 2022
Job postings increased by 21 percent from November 2021 to November 2022. In November 2022, there were 74,310 online job postings compared to 61,590 in November 2021. The seasonally adjusted preliminary November 2022 unemployment rate of 2.7 percent in Missouri was slightly higher than the previous month’s (October 2022) rate of 2.6 percent and lower than the previous year’s (November 2021) rate of 3.9 percent.
Census Bureau 2017-2021 American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates Released
The U.S. Census Bureau released new 2017-2021 American Community Survey five-year average data. These statistics cover a broad range of topics about social, economic, demographic, and housing characteristics for all geographies, including the nation, states, counties, places, metros, and census tracts.
Winter Holiday Outlook
This year, only about one-third of Americans plan to travel for the holiday season. See this and other fun facts for travel plans, shipping, spending, and Christmas trees in this quick winter holiday outlook.
2022 Career Grades Report
The 2022 Career Grades report is an analysis of the outlook of occupations based on projected employment trends and average wages. A letter grade is assigned to give a quick indication of the outlook for that occupation. For example, Grade A occupations, on average, earn 58 percent more than the average wage, while both Grade A and B occupations are projected to have more annual job openings than average.
Business Index Increases
Missouri’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for October was 54.9, increasing 4.5 points from September, according to the monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Survey, conducted by Creighton University, Omaha, NE. Economists consider the index a key economic indicator, measuring factors such as new orders, production, supplier delivery times, backlogs, inventories, prices, employment, import orders and exports. An index level of 50 or greater suggests economic growth.
Career Grades Poster - Now Available
The Missouri Career Grades poster provides a quick look at occupations in the state with the top outlook through 2030. This easy reference can be used to help spark conversations about career opportunities with best outlook at a variety of education and training levels. The 24 x 36 inch poster can be used by any organization providing career planning or job seeker services. Order the poster for delivery, or download flier-sized version in English or Spanish.
Real Time Labor Summary: Northwest
Northwest Missouri employers posted 4,750 job ads from July through September, with 70 percent for full-time positions. More than half of the region’s job postings during the quarter were in three industries: Manufacturing, Health Care and Social Assistance, and Retail Trade.
Labor Market Explorer for U.S. Metropolitan Areas
The Labor Market Explorer is a set of dynamic and interactive maps from the Milken Institute with information at the metropolitan area and county levels. This interactive tool allows the user to track employment changes across eight major economic sectors.
Southeast Region Career Grades
The Southeast region is projected to have over 14,800 annual job openings through 2030. Career Grades are assigned letter grades based on an occupation’s outlook over the next decade. In general, higher graded occupations earn more and have higher growth rates. The majority of openings in the Southeast region are in A, B, and C grade occupations. Management Occupations have the highest concentration of grade A and B outlook jobs in the region.
Cost of Living Third Quarter 2022
Missouri had the 9th lowest cost of living in the United States for the third quarter of 2022. In general, the most expensive areas to live were Hawaii, Alaska, the Northeast, and the West Coast. The least expensive areas were the Midwest and Southern states.
Real-Time Labor Market Summaries
Missouri employers posted 245,740 job ads from July through September 2022, with 76 percent for full-time positions. Health Care and Social Assistance was the industry with the largest number of job postings, making up 25 percent of the total. The St. Louis Region had more than 100,000 job postings in the quarter, which was the most of any region. See summaries for the state and each region in these quarterly briefs.
MERIC Halloween Fun Facts
Celebrate Halloween with some frightening facts and figures. Total spending in the nation for Halloween is estimated to reach $10.6 billion, with the average person spending $100.45. Indulge in a Milky Way, the most popular candy in Missouri, or visit the Missouri State Penitentiary for a ghost tour. Click on the link to learn more scary facts about Halloween.
Missouri Economic and Workforce Report
The 2022 Missouri Economic and Workforce Report provides a broad overview of Missouri’s economy in the last year, tracking a selection of meaningful indicators. For the last two years, this annual report has included unique economic circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recovery. See the snapshot of Missouri’s economy and a profile of each of the 10 regions in this annual report.
Missouri Career Grade Summaries
With nearly 800 occupations to consider, choosing a career can be challenging. Missouri Career Grades is a tool to help compare the future outlook of occupations in Missouri. To make the comparisons easier, letter grades, called Career Grades, are assigned to various occupations within the state based on each occupation’s outlook over the next decade. Occupations in the Grade A category have the best outlook while Grade F occupations have the worst outlook. Grades are based on a combination of projected total job openings, projected percent growth, and the average wage of an occupation. See the top outlook occupations for Missouri or one of the ten Missouri WDA regions in these short briefs.
Young Adult Migration Patterns
Nearly six in 10 young adults live within 10 miles of where they grew up, and eight in 10 live within 100 miles, according to a new study by researchers at the U.S. Census Bureau and Harvard University. This study examines the migration patterns of young adults and explores where people go between childhood and young adulthood. It also analyzes how those patterns differ across demographic groups and whether people move greater distances to take advantage of job opportunities. Explore the patterns in Missouri and other locations with this new research.
Entrepreneurship in Missouri
The Early-Stage Entrepreneurship series is a set of measures that represents new business creation in the United States, integrating several high-quality, timely sources of information on early-stage entrepreneurship. This state-level series is the first set of data in the Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship, and is presented across four indicators – rate of new entrepreneurs, opportunity share of new entrepreneurs, startup early job creation, and startup early survival rate. Data for Missouri and other states is available in this interactive tool.
September Online Job Postings
There were more than 71,000 new job postings in Missouri in September 2022, according to data from Lightcast™. This was down from August 2022. General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Restaurants and Other Eating Places, and Insurance Carriers were the industries with the most new postings in the state during the month.
Business Index Rises in Missouri
Missouri’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for September was 50.4, increasing 2.1 points from August and pushing into expansion territory, according to the monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Survey, conducted by Creighton University, Omaha, NE. Economists consider the index a key economic indicator, measuring factors such as new orders, production, supplier delivery times, backlogs, inventories, prices, employment, import orders and exports.
Race and Ethnicity in Missouri Counties
Did you know that 17.6 percent of the population in Sullivan County, Missouri is of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity? Explore race and ethnicity trends for states and counties with this U.S. Census Bureau tool that shows population changes between the 2010 and 2020 Census.