Social Work named top Missouri expansion

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COLUMBIA – Social Work services lead Missouri in industry growth for 2015.

Insurance Journal released the list last night. The top five also included; professional, scientific, technical services as well as restaurants, electronic market agents and private households.

The state also saw a five percent growth in the amount of private sector employers according to a report by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Small businesses represent most of Missouri’s private sector proprietors. 

The Executive Director of Boone County Family Resources, Robyn Kaufman, said she was surprised to see social work listed as number one in the top 10 industries but could understand how it landed there.

Kaufman said the Partnership for Hope, a federal and state joint effort to increase the number of social work jobs, has had a significant economic impact on Missouri. In the past three years, it has produced more than 425 jobs and contributed $22.2 million to Missouri’s gross state product.

“The impact that it had in the whole state of Missouri, I know that this program was responsible for 425 jobs for Missouri institute, which provides services and support to people with developmental disabilities,” Kaufman said.

Restaurants also saw growth despite coming in at number three on the list.

A manager at Addison’s restaurant, Jeremy Brown, spoke about how having many people around his business helps overall sales.

“Columbia’s demographic enables restaurants to do very well. One of the reasons is there’s lots of doctors, the insurance business and then the universities and colleges and so forth. So there’s a lot of people that like the convenience of eating out,” said Brown.

The report also showed manufacturing companies in Missouri lost jobs last year. However, the state did see a slight uptick in employment overall. The state’s average annual wage was $46,001.