Economy Growing in St. Louis, But Report Says Job Growth is Slower

By on June 12, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  A new report sees a pickup in St. Louis’ economic growth over the next couple of years, but not in job growth.

The report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, prepared by economics firm IHS Markit, projects that metro St. Louis’ unemployment rate will stay at 3.5 percent through 2020, which is close to the current level.

The report projects 0.9 percent job growth for metro St. Louis this year and in 2019 and 2020, a bit better than last year’s 0.6 percent growth but below the average for the past five years. In 2021 and 2022, the report predicts a sharp slowdown to 0.1 percent job growth.

IHS Markit economists do expect a pickup next year in St. Louis’ gross metropolitan product, or GMP, which is the value of all goods and services produced in the metro area. They see inflation-adjusted GMP growing by 1.3 percent this year, 1.6 percent in 2019 and 2020 and 1.2 percent in 2021 and 2022.

They also expect St. Louis’ labor force participation rate — the percentage of adults who are working or looking for work — to hit 64.7 percent by 2020, up from 64.1 percent this year. The U.S. participation rate was 62.8 percent in April.

The report also contains some interesting numbers for anyone who enjoys making statistical comparisons. St. Louis’ GMP of $162.1 billion ranks 22nd among U.S. metro areas, just behind Portland, Ore., and ahead of Riverside, Calif.

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About Dede Hance