April 21, 2022 | Columbia Less than a minute read

Hitting 95 percent of pre-pandemic employment levels, Missouri is a leading state in economic recovery

Missouri has recovered more than 95 percent of the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Missouri Chamber’s latest quarterly economic report. Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner of Economic Leadership LLC, said that Missouri is among those states leading in job recovery after adding back 357,200 of the jobs lost.

“Ten states have made it back above pre-pandemic levels, and while Missouri is still just below this point, it is still among the leading states in recovery,” said Abernathy.

Some areas of our economy are rebounding faster than others. Construction has grown 7.5 percent above pre-pandemic levels. Trade, transportation and utilities have grown by 3.2 percent.

Economic recovery also varies by location. Columbia, Joplin and Springfield are outpacing the national average in job recovery, while Cape Girardeau, Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Joseph and St. Louis still lag behind.

Missouri’s shrinking labor pool is another topic covered in the report.

“We are going to be facing the shortage of workers for the foreseeable future,” Abernathy said, pointing to lower birth rates, fewer immigrant workers and a high number of employees who took early retirement during the pandemic.

Inflation and geopolitical turmoil are also having a big impact on Missouri’s economy, Abernathy said.

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