• Jeff Fox: Jobs data better, at least for some

  • Missouri’s jobless rate keeps slowly improving, although there is quibbling about the numbers behind the numbers.

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  • Missouri’s jobless rate keeps slowly improving, although there is quibbling about the numbers behind the numbers.
    On Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Economic Development reported that April’s statewide jobless rate was 6.6 percent, one-tenth of a percentage point better than in March.
    Employers added 12,100 people to their payrolls. Leisure and hospitality businesses added 4,800 jobs, transportation and utilities added 2,500, and manufacturers added 1,400. The department also noted some announced major expansions last month, including the 263 metro area jobs being created in Riverside by Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim Systems.
    The state’s jobless rate has been better the national rate for close to four years now. The U.S. rate in April was 7.5 percent.
    Governor Nixon’s office understandably trumpets all of this and points to a TechAmerica Foundation report that says last year Missouri had the third highest growth in tech jobs among all the states in the country.
    Hold on a second, says yet another group – and you have to love this name – younginvicibles.org.
    “Over the last decade, economic opportunity for young adults in Missouri has fallen dramatically,” it declares, “and the recession has made it worse.” (It uses the same language for some other states, too.)
    More young Missourians, it says, are working part time or not at all. The jobless rate for those 16 to 24 in Missouri, it says, is 16.1 percent, well more than double the state’s overall figure.
    Chamber in step
    The Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce says this week’s big event is a sell-out.
    It’s the monthly luncheon, and this time around it includes “Dancing with the Chamber Stars.” It’s to raise money for the chamber’s scholarship fund and innovation grant. The event is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Adams Pointe Conference Center.
    The eight pairs of brave and hopefuly agile contestants are:
    • Julius Oswald of the Oswald, Roam, Rew & Fry law firm and Marissa Walsh of the Blue Springs School District.
    • Lori Moon of Wingstop and Tom Meyer of Meyer Music.
    • Carol Baker of Kansas City Power & Light and Mark Whitlow of Office Products Alliance.
    • James Finley and Sharon Cole, both with the Blue Springs School District.
    • Colby Lalli of the Blue Springs Police Department and Dana Showalter of Pics, Petals and Ponds.
    • Cindy Miller of America’s Community Bank and Mike Peterman of the city of Blue Springs.
    • Gary Showalter of Pics, Petals and Ponds and Donna Best of First American Title.
    • Trisha Kennedy of Kennedy’s Custom Jewelers and Tony Wrisinger of Vision Sports.
    Just three of 500
    There aren’t any big surprises in the 2013 Fortune 500, at least regionally.
    Page 2 of 2 - The metro area has three companies on the list – all on the Kansas side. Fortune magazine has compiled the list of publicly traded companies, ranked by annual revenues, for decades.
    Those three metro companies are Sprint Nextel (No. 87), Seabord Corp, which is a conglomerate in food, transportation and energy (No. 411), and trucking company YRC Worldwide, once known as Yellow Freight (hanging on at No. 498).
    For those of you keeping score – and some of us do fret about these things – Kansas City’s three compare with five in Omaha, nine in St. Louis, 17 in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, 19 in Dallas and 10 in Denver. Three puts the area even with Indianapolis, Louisville, Memphis, Tampa and Fayetteville, N.C.
    No. 1 on the list is Wal-Mart with $469.2 billion in revenues last year, followed by Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Phillips 66 and Berkshire Hathaway, which is investor Warren Buffett’s company that owns, among other things, Nebraska Furniture Mart, International Dairy Queen and the BNSF railroad.
    Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s business editor. Reach him at 816-350-6313 or jeff.fox@examiner.net. Follow him on Twitter @FoxEJC.

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