With the 2014 legislative session beginning today, Gov. Jay Nixon pointed to several indicators of Missouri's continued economic success. Heading the list, the Governor said, was the latest jobs report showing Missouri was a top 10 state for job growth in 2013. Since January 2013, nonfarm payroll employment in Missouri has increased by 43,900 - more than all but nine other states in the nation. In addition, Missouri employers added 15,000 jobs in November, helping bring the state's unemployment rate down to 6.1 percent, its lowest point since August 2008.
"The numbers bear out the progress we have made statewide, and regional gains also demonstrate how we're moving forward," Gov. Nixon said. "Columbia's unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, the jobless rate in St. Louis hit a five-year low, and last year the Missouri side of the Kansas City metropolitan area gained four times the number of jobs as the Kansas side.
"By focusing on our priorities - good jobs, quality schools and healthy communities - we'll continue to build on this strong momentum," the Governor said. "I look forward to continuing to work closely with members of the General Assembly to balance our budget and make strategic, responsible economic investments for our future."
Other notable facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Only four other states in the nation had larger increases in employment in November
Missouri's unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in November 2013 from 8.6 percent in January 2009.
Missouri's unemployment rate has been below the national average for 51 consecutive months
Missouri's unemployment rate is now nearly a full point below the national unemployment rate
The Governor's agenda of creating jobs, maintaining fiscal discipline and making strategic investments in vital public services has produced several other notable results:
Missouri ranked as a Top 10 Pro-Business States for the fourth year in a row, according to Pollina Corporate.
Missouri had the 7th most favorable corporate tax structure. The Tax Foundation's 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index found that Missouri has the 7th most favorable corporate tax structure in the nation.
Missouri had the 3rd fastest rate of technology job growth. The Tech America Foundation's 2013 Cyberstates report found that Missouri had the third-fastest rate of technology job growth in the nation in 2012.
In 2013, several major employers announced plans to expand operations and increase their investment in Missouri, including:
Boeing announced plans to create up to 800 new jobs in St. Louis County, furthering Missouri's position as a leader in the aerospace industry.
Express Scripts, the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager, announced an expansion of its St. Louis campus that is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs over the next five years.
Cerner Corp. announced that the company is moving forward with plans to extend its Missouri campus and bring between 12,000 and 15,000 jobs to the former Bannister Mall site in Kansas City.
Monsanto, a pioneer in bioscience and sustainable agriculture, announced plans to invest more than $400 million at its Chesterfield Village Research Center in an expansion that will create an estimated 675 new jobs over the next three years.
Ford Motor Company announced plans to add a third production shift for the F-150 and hire an additional 900 workers at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, where it has undertaken a $1.1 billion expansion.
General Motors announced plans to invest an additional $133 million in its Wentzville facility and add a third stamping press to the assembly and stamping plant.
Automotive suppliers announced expansions and new investments, including Grupo Antolin and Adrian Steel in Kansas City; Toyota Bodine in Troy; and Yanfeng USA in Riverside.
The Governor said his administration would continue to maintain the same level of strict fiscal discipline in 2014 that in 2013 resulted in:
Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's each reaffirming Missouri's AAA credit rating. During his domestic trade mission to New York, the Governor met with executives from all three rating agencies to discuss Missouri's strong fiscal position. Missouri's AAA credit rating saves taxpayers millions in interest and demonstrates to businesses around the world that the Show-Me State is a safe place to grow and invest.
Missouri leading the way in improving results for taxpayers. Missouri is one of 10 states leading the way in improving results for taxpayers by using cost-benefit analyses to drive policy decisions, according to the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative.
Continuing to pay down debt and save taxpayers millions in interest. This fall, the state retired the Third State Building bonds which had been used for the improvements of infrastructure, maintenance, and repair projects in Missouri.
Reducing energy use by 21 percent. In 2009 Gov. Nixon signed an executive order directing agencies to reduce their energy use by two percent each year. In calendar year 2012, state agencies had reduced their total energy use by 21.67 percent compared to 2008.