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Missouri recovers most jobs lost during pandemic: report

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri has recovered more than 95 percent of the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Missouri Chamber’s latest quarterly economic report. 

Missouri is among states leading in job recovering after adding back 357,200 of jobs lost, according to Ted Abernathy, managing partner of Economic Leadership LLC.

“Ten states have made it back above pre-pandemic levels, and while Missouri is still just below this point, it is still among the leading states in recovery,” said Abernathy.

Some areas of the economy are rebounding faster than others, according to the report. Construction has grown 7.5 percent above pre-pandemic levels. Trade, transportation, and utilities have grown by 3.2 percent.

Economic recovery also varies by location. Columbia, Joplin, and Springfield are outpacing the national average in job recovery, while Cape Girardeau, Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Joseph, and St. Louis still lag behind.

Missouri’s shrinking labor pool is another topic covered in the report.

“We are going to be facing the shortage of workers for the foreseeable future,” Abernathy said, pointing to lower birth rates, fewer immigrant workers, and a high amount of employees who took early retirement during the pandemic.

Inflation and geopolitical turmoil are also having a big impact on Missouri’s economy, Abernathy said.