Despite job growth, Missouri underperforms other states

4 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, July 14 2015 Jul 14, 2015 Tuesday, July 14, 2015 10:18:00 AM CDT July 14, 2015 in News
By: James Packard, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) released June jobs numbers Tuesday, showing marginal growth in Missouri employment, while unemployment held.

DED said Missouri's nonfarm payroll employment grew by 1,500 jobs in June. It said the state unemployment rate held at 5.8 percent. 

Dr. Joseph Haslag, an economics professor at the University of Missouri, said the Missouri job numbers are evidence Missouri is well behind national growth.

According to DED, industries that experienced growth included accommodation and food services , which added 3,900 jobs, administrative support and waste management, which added 2,300 jobs, and transportation, warehousing and utilities, which added 2,000 jobs.

Haslag said, "There were some industries that were shrinking, they [DED] just chose not to report that in their press release."

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center reported in May a seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment of 2,757,000 jobs. With an added 1,500 jobs, the industry grew at a rate of 0.65 percent, according to Haslag. The national average growth over the same period was 1.9 percent, Haslag said. 

"I think this is indicative of a longer trend in Missouri that's been going on for nearly two decades, and that is we're just not growing as fast as the national average," Haslag said. "To me that's more the big story than just looking at month-to-month blips."

Haslag said because job growth was reported at 1,500 jobs, but DED reported 8,200 new jobs in specific industries, other industries must have been shrinking. Additionally, Haslag said because Missouri added 1,500 jobs, but unemployment held, the Missouri labor force must have grown in June. 

Haslag said an overall growth in the labor force could be the result of many factors, including teens entering the workforce in June. A growth in the labor force coupled with a growth in jobs would have held the unemployment rate steady, Haslag said.

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