Issue Position: Jobs and Economy
Jay Nixon believes that every Missourian who works hard and plays by the rules should be able to provide for their families and achieve their dreams. Unfortunately, today too many in Missouri simply can not make ends meet in the job they're in, can not find the job they want, or live in fear of losing the job they have. Missouri is falling behind in job creation and our state was recently ranked 48th in the nation in annual wage growth. As Governor, Jay will invest in new technologies, bring members of Missouri's business communities together, and find creative ways to protect the jobs of today, while creating the jobs of tomorrow.
Jay understands that in order to move Missouri's economy forward, we must look to the future by investing in new technology and job-training programs that will prepare Missourians to compete in the 21st Century job market. However, under Gov. Blunt, Missouri has dropped towards the bottom on Information Technology and Innovation Foundation's "New Economy Index" and the Center for Economic Development has given Missouri a "D" average. Missouri has far too much talent and far too many resources to be falling this far behind.
In fact, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently reported that Missouri is lagging behind all bordering states in economic growth and also lags behind the nation as a whole.
And while our economy lags, Gov. Blunt slashed the Medicaid program, he turned down more than $1 billion federal dollars, a move that not only cost thousands of Missourians their health insurance, but cost the state at least $1.4 billion in economic activity and thousands of new jobs in the medical field. Under Blunt's watch, our state has also turned down major opportunities to become a national leader in biotechnology and life science research - more missed opportunities to create more jobs of tomorrow. Jay believes we should be doing the opposite - capitalizing on opportunities to expand our research facilities and create new, good-paying jobs for the people of Missouri.
The vast majority of Missourians are employed by small businesses, which face unique challenges. In order for our small businesses to thrive, they need access to financing, facility space and skilled workers. But while other states are moving forward with creative initiatives to support small business development and spur entrepreneurship, Missouri currently has no game plan. As Governor, Jay will work with members of the small and minority-owned business community to create initiatives that provide incentives for growth.
Agriculture is Missouri's number one industry and about two-thirds of our land area is farmland. However, many of our family farmers are struggling to make ends meet. They are in constant danger of being run out of business by big factory farms and face increased difficulty paying for health care and saving for retirement. Jay Nixon is committed to partnering with family farmers to protect their way of life and to making sure that Missouri continues to be a national leader in agricultural exports.