Balanced Approach Delivers Strong Economic Recovery in Missouri

 — Today, Governor Mike Parson celebrated Missouri's strong economic position as the number of Missourians on unemployment decreases, businesses continue to invest and expand in Missouri, and the state earns several economic recognitions. 

"Throughout the pandemic, we took a balanced approach that protected the health and safety of Missourians without sacrificing their livelihoods," Governor Parson said. "We didn't force businesses to shut their doors or Missourians out of the workforce. Thanks to our common sense measures, Missouri is now in a strong economic position with a 3.8 percent unemployment rate, thousands of new jobs created, and billions of dollars in business investment." 

In September 2021, Missouri's unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent from a high of 12.5 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Missouri's unemployment rate prior to the pandemic was 3.7 percent.

Only 15,000 Missourians are currently drawing unemployment benefits, down from 124,000 at the beginning of 2021 and 385,000 in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. 

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Missouri's metropolitan areas experienced sharp job losses. Since then, Missouri has recovered 77 percent of all jobs lost during the pandemic, outpacing five of Missouri's bordering states. Several metro areas are outperforming the statewide rate with Joplin at 108 percent, Jefferson City at 97 percent, Springfield at 97 percent, Kansas City at 90 percent, Cape Girardeau at 87 percent, and Columbia at 82 percent.

Governor Parson and his administration have reshaped economic and workforce development in the state of Missouri and the state has earned top recognitions because of these efforts. 

    • Missouri is 1st in the United States for on-the-job training participants
    • Missouri is 3rd in the United States for apprenticeships
    • Missouri is 3rd in the United States for pandemic proof small businesses
    • Missouri is 3rd in the United States for business tax index – outranking all neighboring states
    • Missouri is 4th in the United States for opportunity
    • Missouri is 4th in the United States for new manufacturing facilities
    • Missouri is 4th in the United States for the best place to retire
    • Missouri is 5th in the United States for low cost of doing business
    • Missouri is 7th in the United States for people relocating to the state
    • Missouri is 7th in the United States for tech manufacturing growth
    • Missouri is 8th in the United States for housing affordability
    • Missouri is 8th in the United States for economic recovery
    • Missouri is 8th in the United States for best place to work for nurses
    • Missouri is 9th in the United States for military retirees
    • Missouri is 9th in the United States for tech hubs
    • Missouri is 10th in the United States for automotive and aerospace industries
    • Missouri is 10th in the United States for new business expansion
    • Missouri is 10th in the United States for women in tech
    • Missouri is 10th in the United States for site selection
    • Missouri is 11th in the United States for business environment
    • Missouri is 11th in the United States for defense spending 
    • Missouri is 12th in the United States for best overall tax climate 
    • Missouri One Start – a brand new training program, created through Talent for Tomorrow – ranked 9th in the nation

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, companies continued to invest and expand in Missouri, with over $3.6 billion in new business investment and more than 12,500 new jobs created. 

"Our general revenues are up and businesses are investing in Missouri, showing producers and consumers alike are confident in the direction of Missouri's economy," Governor Parson said. "Even though we are seeing success, with more than 129,000 job openings across the state, we still have work to do. We are continuing our investments in our talent pipeline that drives Missouri's economy and brings opportunity to all Missourians. We are moving forward in this state."