Missouri produced 640,000 pounds of turkey in 2018, according to the Missouri Economic Research & Information Center.

That’s it. That’s all the Thanksgiving data I have for you.

But MERIC, part of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, has other things.

Missouri’s October unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in October. Last month, 2.92 million Missourians had jobs. One in five of those jobs is in five counties in the Kansas City area.

Statewide, those jobs included:

• Trade, transportation and utilities – 544,400.

• Education and health services – 493,400.

• Professional and business services – 391,700.

• Leisure and hospitality – 314,600.

• Manufacturing – 275,7000.

Missouri also had the eighth-lowest cost of living among the 50 states in the third quarter, thanks mostly to housing. MERIC calculates a cost of living index based on Council for Community & Economic Research data and puts the national average at 100. Figures ranged from 84.5 (Mississippi) to 139.8 (California), 164 (the District of Columbia) and 201.3 (Hawaii).

Missouri came in just below average in groceries, utilities, transportation and health care, but rated at 70.6 in housing.


Coming and going

Denny’s on Missouri 7 in Blue Springs has closed. Sheridan’s Frozen Custard at Noland Road and Lynn Court in Independence says it’s closed for remodeling. Black Bear Diner on Little Blue Parkway in Independence held a ribbon-cutting last week.

Seeing opportunities

I heard a definition of entrepreneurship that works pretty well.

“If you are a problem-solver, you are an entrepreneur,” said Morgan Perry, a business specialist on the Mid-Continent Public Library’s Square One team. That’s a group that does all kinds of programs to support local businesses.

She spoke last week at the monthly Independence Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Her take on big business vs. small business vs. startups?

“You need all of them.”

But she suggested we can all benefit from thinking in innovative, customer-focused ways.

“That’s the entrepreneurial mindset – seeing the problem and taking action to solve it.”

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