Columbia Ranks Top Twenty for Job Growth

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COLUMBIA - Despite the recession, the City of Columbia ranks among the top 20 best small cities for job growth. According to, Columbia is the 20th best. The data on the Web site is derived from "three-month rolling averages of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 'state and area' unadjusted employment data reported from November 1999 to January 2011."

The Missouri Department of Economic Development, Columbia metropolitan area's latest unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in March of 2011. As of March 2010, the city's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent. The labor forces increased 1 percent to 96,405 jobs in Columbia.

Columbia Regional Economic Development, Inc.'s Dave Griggs says job growth in Columbia is due to the city's increasing national recognition. "That recognition causes larger companies to take notice of the environment we offer. And they start investigating Columbia as a place to open an office," Griggs said.

The IBM office opened in Columbia last year, providing more than 800 jobs. "Larger prospects like IBM and other prospects we're working with have helped put us on the map," he said.