Trendsights Newsletter

Missouri Real-Time Labor Market Summary
Missouri employers posted 164,169 job ads in the last 3 months with 70% of these full-time positions. St. Louis had the most job postings during this time at 77,296. Click on the above link to see Missouri summary. Or click here to see all of the Missouri region summaries.
MERIC’s Valentine’s Day Facts and Figures
Valentines spending is predicted to rise according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2020 Valentine’s Day Consumer Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. Spending in the nation is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32 percent from last year’s record $20.7 billion. Consumers are planning to spend an average of $196.31 this year. According to the NRF, this Valentine’s Day couples are eager to shower their loved ones, including their other important relationships, with special gifts. Items like jewelry, candy or flowers remain popular with consumers.To celebrate this holiday, MERIC has put together some fun facts and figures to share with you.
2019 Annual Average Cost of Living
Missouri had the 5th lowest cost of living in the United States for 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. MERIC derives the cost of living index for each state by averaging the indices of participating cities and metropolitan areas in that state. Missouri’s cost of living index for 2019 was 88.5.
Missouri Business index Increases
Missouri’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for January was 56.2, an increase of 5.6 points, and well 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. The January PMI® for the national manufacturing sector registered 50.9, increasing 3.1 points from the December reading of 47.8 percent.
Career Outlook: Respiratory Therapists
Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing—for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. Their patients range from premature infants with undeveloped lungs to elderly patients who have diseased lungs. Did you know that in Missouri a Respiratory Therapist is one of the fastest growing Middle-skill occupations earning an average wage of $54,760? Click on the above link to learn more about this occupation.
Middle-skill Occupations in Missouri
Middle-skill jobs are broadly defined as occupations that require some training after high school but less than a bachelor’s degree. Middle-skill occupations are an essential part of Missouri’s workforce, accounting for four out of every ten jobs. Meeting the continued demand for middle-skill occupations will be an important factor in maintaining a strong economy in the state. Click on the above link to learn more about middle-skill occupations that are in demand.
2018 County and Metro Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released county-level GDP for the first time. This data at the county level has provided an important barometer to gauge the health of our state, metropolitan and local economies. Click on the above link to view Missouri’s county level GDP data.
STEM Occupations Among Highest Paying Jobs
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and STEM-Related occupations are some of the most in-demand and highest paying jobs in Missouri. In fact, the need for such employees is projected to grow twice as fast as the average for all occupations. Education is the key to meeting the demand for STEM and STEM-Related workers. Read more about STEM occupations by clicking on the above link.
BLS Releases Comprehensive Information on Women in the Labor Force
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has recently released their databook on women in the workforce. Did you know that women accounted for 52 percent of all workers employed in management, professional, and related occupations in the U.S. in 2018? Or that in 2018, 44 percent of women ages 25 to 64 held a bachelor’s degree and higher, compared with 11 percent in 1970? Click on the above link to view more information on women in the workforce.
Missouri Department of Agriculture Workforce Needs Assessments Survey
The University Labor & Workforce Development team is working with the Missouri Department of Agriculture on a workforce needs assessment. They are looking for employers to take a quick workforce survey and encourage agribusiness employers to attend one of many focus group meetings that will be held around the state in the next couple months.
Career Outlook: Electricians
Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems. Most electricians learn through an apprenticeship, but some start out by attending a technical school. Electrical licensing is decided at the city and county level rather than the state level in Missouri. Missouri now offers a statewide electrical contractor license for skilled electricians to work anywhere in the state. In Missouri, Electricians are projected to have 1,447 annual openings with an average annual wage of $61,630.
Census Business Formations Statistics by State
The U.S. Census Bureau has released national and state level data for business applications. Overall, the U.S. received 860,125 Business Applications in 2019 Q3 decreasing 0.5% from the prior quarter, while Missouri received 15,020 new applications and increased 3.4% during the same period.
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.
County-Level GDP
On December 12, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released new data – Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the county level. This new information is in high demand by data users and will complement the county personal income statistics the bureau has produced since 1975. GDP data for the years 2001 through 2018, for more than 3,000 counties or equivalent geographies across the nation, can be found in this new tool.
2019 Career Grade Report and Poster Available
With nearly 800 occupations to consider, choosing a career can be a challenge. To make the comparisons easier, letter grades, called Missouri Career Grades, are assigned to occupations within the state and regionally based on each occupation’s outlook over the next decade. The full report is available by clicking on the above link.
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.
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.
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.