There are 7,700 fewer people working in Missouri in July than there were in June. Think about that for a moment. That is 7,700 people who could be bringing home paychecks who now have to find some way to pay the bills. That is 7,700 people whose lives have been disrupted because a once solid thing on which they could count, their jobs, has gone. This figure tells a story that a .1 percent jump in the unemployment rate cannot tell.
Is this drop in employment an anomaly for Missouri? Sadly, it is not. From 2010-11, total employment in Missouri fell from 2.651 million to 2.632 million. This is the second worst performance in the country, just slightly better than Wisconsin. In fact, Missouri’s total employment declined from 1997-2011. This performance is not a blip, it is not an anomaly nor a fluke. This is a sad trend for a state that can and should do better. At the Show-Me Institute, we have released an essay that details other ways Missouri has underperformed economically when compared to the rest of the country.