Trendsights Newsletter

Missouri Labor Force Participation Rate Rises
The labor force participation rate is an indicator of the relative amount of labor resources available for the production of goods and services and is calculated as the number of all employed and unemployed workers divided against the state's civilian population. Missouri's labor force participation rate rose 1.5 percentage points in December 2020 to 63.4 percent from the November 2020 rate of 61.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted. The pre-pandemic rate in December of 2019 was 64.2 percent. Click on the link above to learn more about the labor force participation rate trend in Missouri and other states.
Small Business Financial Health
Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Small Business Pulse Survey shows Missouri businesses have been positioned greater than the collective U.S. with respect to some financial health indicators. Roughly 5 percent of U.S. small businesses expected to permanently close within the next six months, according to the December pulse survey, and 3 percent of Missouri small businesses said the same. One-third of U.S. small businesses reported they will need financial assistance or additional capital in the next half year, but only 27 percent of Missouri small businesses indicated that need. View the full report to learn more about how Missouri businesses’ financial health has changed in recent months.
Career Outlook: Carpenters
Carpenters construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures made from wood and other materials while working indoors and outdoors on many types of construction projects from installing kitchen cabinets to building highways and bridges. Carpenters typically learn on the job and through apprenticeships. In Missouri, carpenters have a good career outlook, with a career grade of B+, earning an average wage of $55,220. Learn more about carpenters and the outlook for other occupations in Missouri’s occupational projections by clicking on the above links.
Missouri Continues to Excel in Cost of Living
Missouri had the 6th lowest cost of living in the United States for the 4th quarter of 2020. 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 16 quarters, Missouri has been in the top 10 for lowest cost of living in the nation.
Business Index Shows Continued Expansion
Missouri’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December was 67.2, decreasing 8.4 points from November, but still well in expansion territory, according to the monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Survey, conducted by Creighton University, Omaha, NE. For the eighth straight month, the Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, remained above growth neutral since the beginning of the pandemic. 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.
December Jobs Report for Missouri
Missouri non-farm payroll employment increased again in December 2020, but a large increase in the civilian labor force sent unemployment higher. Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 10,400 jobs over the month, and over-the year job losses from COVID-19 shutdowns fell below 100,000. However, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 1.3 percentage points from November 2020 to December 2020 as the civilian labor force increased by more than 70,000 over the month. See the new 2021 Unemployment Release Schedule, December unemployment data in PDF form, and explore additional unemployment data from the MERIC Current Employment Situation webpage.
Exports from Across Missouri
Each of Missouri’s eight metropolitan areas exported goods internationally in 2019, according to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Exports included goods from plastics and rubber products manufacturing from the Cape Girardeau, MO-IL MSA to chemical manufacturing products from the St. Joseph, MO-KS MSA. Industry and trade partner details are now available for the Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Joseph, and St. Louis MSAs.
Personal Income Increases
In 2019, Missouri’s total personal income, which is a measure of the income received by all persons from net earnings, property interest income, and transfer payments, reached $296.6 billion – an increase of 3.5 percent from 2018. The nation’s personal income increased 3.9 percent to $17.8 trillion. Per capita income in Missouri was $48,656 in 2019, up 3.3 percent from 2018. U.S. per capita income was $56,490. View the full report to see updated data for all states.
2019 County Per Capita Personal Income
Missouri’s per capita income in 2019 was $48,656. Recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show there were six counties in Missouri with a higher per capita income than the state average: St. Louis, Platte, St. Charles, Holt, Carroll, and Clay. Use this data to help understand county and regional differences in payroll and earnings, spending power, and general economic trends in local-level economies around the state.
New Statewide Employer Survey Released
A state’s employers and workforce are economic drivers of its success, and Missouri has over 200,000 payroll employers who provide jobs for 2.73 million people. In the Missouri Workforce 2020 Employer Survey, a representative sample of businesses provided insight into workforce trends, barriers to expanding employment, and future staffing, training, and support needs. Employers also provided valuable feedback on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Missouri businesses. Compare the results from the 2019 survey, as well as differences between metro and non-metro areas in the full report.
Winter Holiday Fun Facts
MERIC has gathered various fun facts covering all of your holiday favorites: snowfall chances, shopping, tree selection and more. Have yourself a warm and wondrous holiday season!
BLS Releases New Business Data
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released new data on how U.S. businesses changed their operations and employment since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic through September 2020. This information, combined with data collected by other current BLS surveys, will aid in understanding how businesses responded during the pandemic. Other BLS statistics collected and published during the pandemic show changes in employment, wages, job openings and terminations, employer-provided benefits, and health and safety. The new data provides more insight by asking employers directly what they experienced as a result of the pandemic and how they responded. Click on the above link to learn more about this data.
Holiday Retail Sales 2020
Retail sales during the winter holidays are a good indicator of economic activity and consumer sentiment. Over 52 million people work in retail, making it the number one job sector in the U.S., with a $3.9 trillion contribution to the annual GDP. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), due to the pandemic driving online holiday sales, e-commerce sales are up 36.7 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
MERIC Customer Satisfaction Survey 2020
MERIC is the research unit in the Department of Higher Education & 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.
Twelve Days of Christmas Price Index Affected by Pandemic
For the 37th year, PNC Wealth Management has released its Christmas Price Index, a whimsical look at the cost of the gifts in the classic holiday song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. The PNC Christmas Price Index® is a holiday tradition. This year, the index accounts for the impact of the pandemic when calculating the cost of the presents. For example, social distancing doesn’t allow for performances such as the drummers drumming or ladies dancing. Click the link to see the 2020 full index.
Career Grade Report
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. Career Grades are available for Missouri and the state’s 10 regions, or Workforce Development Areas (WDAs). Grades assigned in each region are determined by comparing only the occupations within that region.
MERIC's Thanksgiving Holiday Fun Facts
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, setting a tradition for gathering with friends and family, giving thanks, and of course, eating! Did you know that Missouri ranks fifth in turkey production in the United States with an estimated 19 million turkeys produced? This is just one of the facts MERIC has put together for you to gobble up to celebrate this holiday.
Census Business Builder: Regional Analyst Edition
Census has recently released a Regional Analyst Edition built primarily for chambers of commerce and regional planning staff who need a broad portrait of the people and businesses in their service area. It presents data for all sectors of the economy and for a user-defined region made up of one or more areas. Click on the above link to begin to analyze your area.
Missouri Business by Size 2020
Tracking Missouri businesses by employment size can be used to identify which size of business employs the most people, how the many Missouri businesses range in size of employment and average wages, and the typical size of businesses by industry. Firms employing less than 50 workers made up 96.1 percent of all businesses in Missouri.
Missouri Business Index Remains High
Creighton University. For the fifth straight month, the index advanced above growth neutral and to its highest level since 2004. 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.
Missouri Manufacturing Industries
Manufacturing is a major component of Missouri’s $332.1 billion economy accounting for 13.6 percent of the state’s private sector employment with 277,104 jobs across 6,681 establishments. The industry has added 21,175 jobs since 2014, growing 1.6 percent per year over five years compared to the nation’s 1.0 percent growth rate over the same period.
COVID-19 Missouri Economy Indicators: E-Commerce and Online Sales
Many businesses are considering new ways to increase sales as COVID-related capacity limits, restrictions, or changes in consumer behavior negatively impact revenue. E-commerce, which involves selling goods and services through an online platform, has gained popularity as one strategy to generate revenue. Click on the above link to learn more about Missouri sales.
Missouri Industry Concentration
Industry concentration analysis helps 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. As an example, Food Manufacturing industries in Missouri are a prosperous sector, employing 41,738 workers in 626 establishments, with an overall industry average location quotient of 1.35, higher than the national industry concentration of 1.00. Click on the above link to uncover what other industry sectors are concentrated in Missouri.
Ghoulish Halloween Facts
How many potential trick-or-treaters visit how many households? How many acres of pumpkins does Missouri produce? How much money are consumers planning to spend this holiday? Caution before reading, some facts may be dreadfully frightening!