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State departments report improvement in Missouri's economy

May 05, 2004
By: Sara Bondioli
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's departments of Economic Development and Revenue released a report Wednesday showing the state's economy is doing better than the majority of other states.

The departments report that:

-Missouri's job growth is almost twice as much as the national rate, ranking it 16th among states for the first three months of 2004.

-The state reported 14,930 new businesses in 2003.

-Recent job growth in Missouri has been in the areas of financial services, construction and health care. The high quality of life in Missouri is an important key in drawing employers to the state -- and keeping them here, said Economic Development Director Kelvin Simmons. He cited State Farm Insurance's decision to remain in Columbia as an example.

-Although Missouri per capita personal income is still below the national level, Missouri's level grew by 2.6 percent from 2002 to 2003 while the national growth rate was 2.3 percent.

-Missouri is focusing on the areas of life sciences, advanced manufacturing and technology as it makes the transition from an industrial-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.