The Missouri Department of Economic Development released the April jobs report, which again points to unemployment remaining steady at near record lows.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.3 percent. Out of the roughly 3 million individuals in Missouri’s civilian labor force, 101,701 were unemployed in April.
Professional, scientific, and technical services industries were up more than 6,000 jobs or 3.7%. Health care and social assistance was up 9,900 jobs, or 2.3%. Accommodation and Food Services and Manufacturing industries were both up over 2%.
Missouri’s 2018 exports reached a record high of $14,499,772,351, accounting for nearly 7 percent of Missouri’s GDP.
Automotive vehicles and parts have consistently been Missouri’s number one export category over the past four years, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Foreign Trade Bureau and WISER Trade. Exports in this category accounted for nearly $2.1 billion in 2018, an almost 4 percent increase over 2017.
Chemicals and aerospace products and parts each accounted for nearly $1 billion in 2018 exports.
Pharmaceuticals and medicines topped $700 million, and oilseeds and grains reached almost $500 million, rounding out the top five sectors for 2018.
The Department of Economic Development also highlighted four pieces of workforce and economic development legislation passed this week, including:
Missouri Fast Track: Fills workforce gaps through financial aid for adult learners pursuing education and training in high demand industries.
Missouri Works - Deal Closing Fund: Gives Missouri a negotiating tool to close deals with companies by granting tax credits earlier in a business expansion and includes a claw back provision.
Automotive Economic Development Tools: Helps retain automotive jobs by granting $5 million in tax credits annually to automotive manufacturers that invest $500 million or more in plant upgrades and agree to retain current workers.
Missouri One Start: Improves Missouri’s workforce programs that help businesses recruit, onboard and train large numbers of job applicants during major expansions. Since July 2018, 209 companies have committed to training over 26,000 Missouri workers through the state's workforce development programs.