University of Missouri Extension has pulled together information that underlines a troubling long-term term: Missouri’s economy has badly lagged its neighbors and the country as a whole since in the Great Recession of 2008-09.

Drawing on data recently posted by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Extension Service offers a snapshot:

• "Since the recession, Missouri has not kept pace with other Midwestern and neighboring states," the report says. The state’s gross domestic product has grown 7.4 percent since 2009, the lowest among neighboring states. Even deeply troubled Illinois grew 12.7 percent.

With annual compound GDP growth of just 0.8 percent from 2009 to 2018, Missouri badly trails the national rate of 2.3 percent. Growth in Missouri did improve in 2016-18, edging ahead of Illinois, Kansas, Iowa and Arkansas but still trailing Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Indiana – and the overall U.S. rate of 2.6 percent.

• Cities drive growth. The Kansas City area accounted for 22.1 percent of 2018 state GDP (Jackson County had almost 15 percent by itself), and the St. Louis area accounted for 44.3 percent. While GDP in non-metro counties nationwide has been a lackluster 15.6 percent since 2009, for Missouri non-metro counties, that figure is just 3.4 percent. Forty-one of Missouri’s 114 counties (plus the city of St. Louis) have lost both people and GDP since 2009. Those include 24 of the 44 counties north of the Missouri River and several in southeast Missouri.

• Missouri is the nation’s 18th most populous state but has just the 22nd biggest economy.

Gannett, which owns The Examiner and hundreds of other newspapers across the country, has placed The Examiner’s building at 410 S. Liberty St. in Independence on the market. With extensive staff cuts across the industry for many years, it’s become common for newspapers to move to smaller spaces. The Examiner, founded in 1898, has been at various places on the Square, including decades at 321 W. Lexington Ave. We’ve been on Liberty just south of the Square since 1980. No sale or move is imminent.

The three Hy-Vee stores in Blue Springs and Independence are among those that have reduced hours of operation. They have dropped 24/7 in favor of 5 a.m. to midnight daily. …. The Mid-Continent Public Library has a series of events for those thinking about getting into the food-truck business. "Employees and Operating Costs" is at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24, and "Regulations and Taxes" is at 6:30 p.m. March 2, both at the North Independence branch, 317 West U.S. 24. Then a six-hour food-truck workshop starts at 10 a.m. March 15 at the Ennovation Center, 210 N. Forest Ave., Independence. There’s also a 10-week food manufacturing school on Thursdays at 6 p.m. from April 1 to June 4 at the Ennovation Center. The library says a limited number of applicants will be accepted. Go to

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365 or He’s on Twitter at @FoxEJC.