Trendsights Newsletter

MERIC Customer Satisfaction Survey
MERIC is the research unit in the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, providing innovative analyses and assistance to policymakers and the public. An important part of MERIC’s mission is to provide customer-focused products and seek input to improve and develop products to meet current and future needs. The survey takes only 5 minutes, but will provide MERIC valuable insight on customer preferences.
MERIC's Thanksgiving Holiday Fun Facts
The Plymouth settlers first celebrated Thanksgiving in 1621 making it a time for gathering with friends and family, giving thanks, and of course – eating! Did you know that Missouri ranks fourth in turkey production in the United States with an estimated 640 thousand pounds of turkey? This is just one of the facts MERIC has put together for you to gobble up to commemorate this holiday.
2018 County Per Capita Income
Missouri had a per capita income of $47,746 in 2018 nominal dollars. Per capita income is defined as total personal income divided by total population. Five Missouri counties had higher per capita incomes in 2018 than the state. Those counties were St. Louis, Platte, St. Charles, Clay, and Cole. Per capita income levels for Missouri tend to be highest around larger metro areas such as St. Louis and Kansas City.
New State Data on the Attainment of Certifications and Licenses
19 percent Missouri’s civilian non-institutional population aged 16 years or older has a certification or license. Across states, the percentage of the population with a certification or license ranges from 14.8 percent in California to 22.1 percent in Maine. Across occupations, the difference in average weekly earnings for those with a certification or license ranges from $70 to $744.
Business Index Rises
Missouri’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for October was 53.6, an increase of 4.4 points, and in expansion territory, according to the monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Survey, conducted by Creighton University, Omaha, NE. Economists consider the index, which measures such factors as new orders, production, supplier delivery times, backlogs, inventories, prices, employment, import orders and exports, a key economic indicator. Typically, a score greater than 50 indicates an expansionary economy while a score below 50 forecasts a sluggish economy.
Cost of Living for Third Quarter 2019
Missouri had the 8th lowest cost of living in the United States for the third quarter of 2019. 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. For the past eleven quarters, Missouri has been in the top ten for lowest cost of living in the nation.
Labor Market Information Applied Analyst Training
The Council for Community and Economic Research is dedicated to improving the skills of community and economic development research professionals. In cooperation with the LMI Institute, C2ER offers a comprehensive training program in economic development and workforce analysis.
Missouri Employer Survey Results
Over 1,600 Missouri companies, with five employees or more, were surveyed in 2019 to gauge the state of the workforce from the employers’ point of view. This 2019 survey looked at both metro and non-metro employers to understand key similarities or differences that may help inform workforce or economic development decisions.
2018 Manufacturing Brief
Manufacturing is a major component of Missouri’s $317.7 billion economy. It represents 12.8 percent ($40.7 billion) of the 2018 Gross State Product (GSP). Change over the past five years in Missouri’s Manufacturing GSP averaged 2.8 percent annual growth. Manufacturing accounts for 11.5 percent of the state’s private sector employment with 273,163 jobs across 6,476 establishments.
MERIC's Halloween Fun Facts
According to the National Retail Federation, consumer confidence is high as a result of the
strong national economy. Estimates indicate that families are planning to celebrate
Halloween this year by spending an average of $86.27, down slightly from last year’s all‐time high of $86.79. Approximately 172 million Americans will participate in Halloween festivities, with projected spending at $8.8 billion.
2018 New Business Formations
New businesses bring industry diversity and job growth to a state and serve as major engines for economic growth. Research has shown a positive relationship between levels of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth. In 2018, there were 19,731 new business formations in Missouri.
Metropolitan Exports
Did you know the Springfield metropolitan area has exported $5.4 billion in goods since 2005? Click on the above link to see metro export information for the nation and detailed Missouri metro data including trade partners and export totals.
2018 Missouri County Population
St. Louis County continues to have the largest Missouri population with 996,945. St. Charles County added the largest number of new residents from 2017 to 2018 (3,937). Click or hover on the county you are interested in on the interactive dashboard and the population figures will be displayed. Data and images may be extracted with the download button at the bottom right of the Tableau Chart.
MERIC Launches NEW Website
The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) has launched a new website. Click on the above link to view the new website, which includes easier access to downloadable data. Go to the About Us page to find your regional contact.
Industry Concentration in Missouri
Industry concentration analysis can help identify which industries are more export-oriented or specialized in an area than other industries. Businesses that are export-oriented, like manufacturing, agriculture, and some services, are important sources of new income to the state. Did you know that Animal Food Manufacturing has the highest industry concentration in Missouri? Click on the above link to see what other industries have high concentrations in Missouri.
US and State Population Rise
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the nation’s population increased from 325.1 million (July 2017) to 327.1 million (July 2018) — adding 2.0 million new residents. Missouri ranked 18th by population size with 6,126,452 residents. The state gained 17,840 new residents between July 2017 and July 2018.
Maps Reveal Where the Creative Class Is Growing
The creative class is comprised of knowledge workers in education, healthcare, law, arts, tech, science, and business. Did you know that the growth of the creative class in St. Louis, Mo has increased 16.5% from 2005 to 2017? Click on the above link to read more about which metros hold concentrations of creative class occupations.
Missouri Business by Size
Missouri had 186,933 private sector employers in the 1st quarter of 2018. Firms employing 1 to 49 workers made up 95.7 percent of all businesses in Missouri. Headquarter and manufacturing firms had the highest average employment size when compared to other industries.
Professional Certifications and Occupational Licenses
In 2018, 43.7 million people in the United States held an active certification or license, totaling 24.1 percent of those employed. Health Care, Legal and Education have over 50% of those employed holding a license or certification. Read more about certifications and licenses by clicking on the link above.
Career Outlook: Earning Green by Working Green
What’s good for the earth may be good for your earnings. Wages in many occupations related to environmental protection were well above the $38,640 national median annual wage for all occupations in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Census Business Builder Application Tools
Are you looking for data to help you start or grow a business or understand the business landscape for a region? The Census Business Builder (CBB) is a suite of services that provide selected demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau tailored to specific types of users in a simple to access and use format. Two versions are available – the Small Business Edition for small business owners and the Regional Analyst Edition for chambers of commerce and regional planners. Click on the above link to access both versions.
Missouri Career Grades - Statewide
Did you know that Missouri is projected to have over 362,000 annual job openings through 2026 and that a majority of those openings (94%) earned a Career Grade of A, B, and C? Career Grades are a tool to help gauge the outlook of each of the 800+ occupations based on a combination of total job openings, projected percentage of growth, and average wages. Each occupation is assigned a letter grade from A+ to F based on an objective calculation. Click the link above to explore the state’s top grade occupations.
2018 Missouri Occupation Highlights
The Occupational Employment Statistics program estimates employment and wages for hundreds of Missouri jobs. Office and Administrative Support jobs had the highest employment, accounting for 16% of all occupations in Missouri. Management and Computer and Mathematical occupations had the highest wages.
Anne Casey Foundation’s 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book
The 30th edition of the Data Book examines how America’s child population has changed, demographically and geographically. Did you know that Missouri’s number of children has grown by 5% from 1990 to 2017? Read more about the well-being of the nation’s families and children, including Missouri’s, by clicking on the above link.