St. Joseph leads Missouri in employment growth, top 3 in wages

St. Joseph's labor force is up 1.6 percent from this point in November 2017.

Posted: Jan. 10, 2019 2:40 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— St. Joseph's labor force is on the rise, according to the Missouri Department of Economic Development's November job report. 

According to the report, the labor force went up 1.6 percent compared to November 2017, which is a higher increase than all other Missouri cities. 

St. Joseph was also named the third largest exporter in the state, behind St. Louis and Kansas City. 

Along with those honors, St. Joseph's average hourly wage is $22.20, which only falls behind St. Louis and Kansas City.

According to the report, the weekly earnings are $805.86, which is $42,000 a year. 

“St. Joseph has added hundreds of jobs in the past couple of years with higher wages, which is reflected in this report,” said R. Patt Lilly, President, and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. “Besides attracting new business, the Chamber also works with existing companies in St. Joseph to grow their number of employees and increase their wages.”

According to the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, one of the successes of 2018 was the addition of 50 new jobs (over a five-year period) with an average salary of $50,000 at Yellow Frog Graphics. The company is building a new $3.9 million facility in Mitchell Woods Business Park. Yellow Fron Graphics is the region's premier provider of custom vehicle graphics and wraps. 

“In St. Joseph, we often hear comments about the lack of good-paying jobs, but we’re actually outpacing other Missouri communities of comparative size in job growth and wages,” Lilly said.

St. Joseph's unemployment rate in the November report was 2.7 percent, which is lower than the U.S. rate (3.7 percent), and Missouri's rate (3.1 percent) and several other Missouri communities. 

“While our unemployment is low, there are a large number of high-paying jobs available for those willing to be trained,” Lilly said. “The Chamber continues to work with local education institutions and business to bring additional skills training and certifications to enhance our workforce and build on the growing economy.”

To read the report, see this site:

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