St. Louis Region Added 17,000 Jobs in 2005; RCGA Economist Notes Region Has Likely Fully Recovered From 2001 Recession
March 8, 2006
For more information, contact
Gary Broome at (314) 444-1171
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ST. LOUIS REGION ADDED 17,000 JOBS IN 2005;
RCGA ECONOMIST NOTES REGION HAS LIKELY FULLY RECOVERED FROM 2001 RECESSION
-- New regional job growth data released today shows a continued strong St. Louis regional economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the bi-state St. Louis region added jobs during 2005 at a faster pace than initially thought. Annual average employment increased by 1.3%, or 17,000 jobs during 2005. Initial estimates showed regional growth of less than 1% in 2005. Non-farm employment in the St. Louis region began to grow in mid-2004, and the pace of that growth accelerated in 2005. January 2006 metropolitan area employment, estimated by the BLS at 1,328,600, increased 1.7% from January 2005, and exceeded the employment level of January 2001. “This means that the region has now likely recovered fully from the 2001 recession and subsequent weak employment markets of 2002 and 2003,” noted St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association (RCGA) Chief Economist Bryan Bezold
Over the last 6 months of 2005, the professional and business services sector was the fastest growing sector of the employment. In August and September, businesses in that sector expanded their payrolls at year-over-year pace in excess of 4.0%. That growth slowed to 3.6% in December and 2.9% in January of 2006.
The educational & health services and leisure & hospitality services sectors also expanded during 2005; adding jobs at a year-over-year rate close to 2.0% for most of the year. The financial activities sector grew more rapidly than initially thought as well, expanding by 0.9% in 2005. The trade, transport, & utilities and construction sectors also expanded in 2005.
Manufacturing employment declined during 2005, with annual average employment falling by 1.6%. Information sector employment also declined slightly in 2005.
“The positive news from this new data is two-fold: during 2005 employment grew more rapidly than we initially thought, and 2006 is off to a strong start.” Bezold