Trendsights Newsletter

Efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have impacted people and industries throughout Missouri and across the country. Employers and workers can find important information and resources to navigate this unprecedented time at Missouri Job Centers are closed to the public, but staff are assisting customers over the phone and online. This week, Job Center staff answered 3,000 calls per day, and diverted 2,000 calls per day from the UI call center. Staff are hosting virtual employment transition and hiring events and helping job seekers complete applications.
Closing the Digital Skills Gap
In Missouri, Computer and IT occupations are projected to grow 18% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than most other occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of these occupations require four-year degrees, however many are also occupations which fall in the category of middle-skill occupations. Apprenticeships can often help the job seeker find employment and training in these middle-skill occupations that require education beyond high school but do not necessarily require a four-year college degree. Click on the above link to read more about methods in obtaining training in these middle-skill occupations.
Missouri is 2nd in the Nation for Registered Apprenticeships
Registered Apprenticeships are an employer-driven training model that has many benefits for employers and workers. After completing a Registered Apprenticeship, the apprentice receives a nationally-recognized occupational credential that communicates the standards and high level of training that their employer provides. Click on the above link to learn more about Missouri Apprenticeships.
BLS Occupational Handbook: Construction Managers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently highlighted the occupation, Construction Managers. They plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish. Many construction managers have a main office, but spend most of their time working out of a field office at a construction site, where they monitor the project and make daily decisions about construction activities. The Missouri Construction Industry is projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, adding 15,800 workers to a projected 136,358. The average wage for a Construction Manager in Missouri for 2018 was $96,680.
Working from Home: More Americans Are Telecommuting
Telecommuting has risen in recent decades from 0.7% of full-time employees in 1980 to 3% in 2017. The average worker who telecommutes drove more miles annually than the average worker who has to travel to a workplace. The impact of this growth in telecommuting could have many potential impacts on the economy, including effects on traffic congestion and where households choose to locate.
Population Data Series: Many Languages of Missouri
Approximately 94 percent of Missouri residents speak English only. The remaining 6 percent can be broken down into two groups, residents whose primary language is something other than English but are fluent in English, and residents that have a limited proficiency with the English language. Click on the above link to learn more about the languages spoken in Missouri.
IRS Migration Data is Available at the Missouri Data Center
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released migration data that shows the movement of households and families in and out of states and counties. Did you know Missouri receives the most residents from neighboring Kansas and Illinois, followed by Texas, Florida, and California? Another fun fact is that more people from other states move into Clay County than from within Missouri.
St. Louis Federal Reserve Research: Shifting Dynamics in Eighth District Cities
The St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability took an in-depth look at four Eighth District cities (St. Louis, Missouri, Little Rock, Arkansas, Louisville, Kentucky, and Memphis, Tennessee) to explore how demographic dynamics are shifting. An increased share of the population responded that they were college graduates who had moved into the county in the past year, indicating that St. Louis may be attracting more college graduates than in the recent past.
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.
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.