Missouri unemployment rate climbs to 8 percent

Friday, February 27, 2009 | 6:26 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lost 11,500 jobs in January while the state's unemployment rate rose to its highest mark since February 1984.

Figures released Friday by the state Department of Economic Development show January unemployment at 8 percent, up by nearly a percentage point from December.

January's biggest losses were in construction, which lost about 5,800 jobs, and manufacturing, which shed 4,100 jobs.

Retail, health care and social assistance all added jobs.

Gov. Jay Nixon issued a statement calling the employment picture "unacceptable." Nixon urged the legislature to pass economic development legislation that he favors.


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Charles Dudley Jr February 27, 2009 | 7:32 p.m.

>>> Gov. Jay Nixon issued a statement calling the employment picture "unacceptable." Nixon urged the legislature to pass economic development legislation that he favors. <<<

More Sheltered Workshops for the disabled with more long term contracts would be a great start.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 28, 2009 | 2:35 a.m.

Chuck, sheltered workshops are something that society affords in flush times. We are in a somewhat less flush time (although it's not as bad as a lot of people say). Government does not create sustainable jobs. It is highly unlikely that a sheltered workshop will be a priority for Nixon's administration.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 28, 2009 | 4:16 a.m.

Mark Foecking Sheltered Workshops save corporations money in the long run and provide a valuable service as jobs for the disabled both physically and mentally who cannot find jobs in the main line employment areas due to:

their complicated disabilities
access issues
accommodation issues

And so much more that goes unspoken and unseen in the work place by employers and employees alike.

Alot are screaming across these forums,blogs,newspaper sites online,city,county,state and across this nation about those on disability not wanting to work.

Alot are screaming bloody murder that people on SSI/SSD are mooches,buns,scum,lazy and even more derogatory words but how are we to change that if we are not given the opportunities to do so?

The reality is citizens with complicated disabilities cannot always do as you so called normal people do. That is a fact.

Oh some here will come back with a few examples to debate my presentation but what is that actual percentage compared to the whole collective number?

Maybe 1%? Let's get real here!

I say give us a safe place to work where we do not have to be subjected to any or all of the above and alot of us will!

It only takes one state to set an example and this state would be a great place to start that example. This is the "Show Me State"!

Stop making excuses it makes you look like complacent uncaring citizens who only care about yourselves.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 28, 2009 | 7:09 a.m.

If sheltered workshops save companies money, let them them set those up and leave the state out of it...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 28, 2009 | 10:37 a.m.

So please do tell what might be or is wrong with this state or the feds giving some tax breaks to major companies to keep their work lines here,providing disabled citizens jobs and more.

Basic assembly type jobs are a great therapeutic way of keeping the disabled population active in your community and that also provides more money going into your community's economy.

Isn't that how we "keep it in America"?" Or do you prefer as Bush allowed and outsource everything so All Americans disabled and non disabled suffer in the long run and our economy falls more.

First some of you demand practically on the edge of tossing the disabled out into the street types pf penalties if they do not go to work but you provide no solutions except let private enterprise do it all. That is all you can say and nothing more.

Then you complain about government involvement in this issue in helping the disabled back to work but offer no solutions to the problem besides the above mentioned.

Do you really understand that private enterprise is really not geared into helping the disabled and that is why government agencies are in place to help where private enterprise cannot.

If government was not involved as it is the disabled population as a whole would not be where it is now. Fact.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 28, 2009 | 11:28 a.m.

While the topic of sheltered workshops is a little off the articles's
main theme, I am compelled to add the following:

In Defense of Sheltered Workshops

There is currently a movement to change the mission of sheltered workshops. The Missouri Department of Mental Health is closing its workshop in St. Joseph and placing the workers in supportive employment. SB40 organizations are trying to distance themselves from their founders, sheltered workshops. Some workshop managers along with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education want to hire "normal" workers for the workshop.

This changes the original concept form sheltered employment to integrated employment infusing the pressures of competition and productivity.

Supportive employment takes workers out of the full time work environment of the workshop and places them in fifteen hours per week part time employment. What do they do the rest of the time? Who watches over them? Do they get to socialize with their buddies?

What is even worse now that many have been moved into the community with inadequate support, they are “home alone” to be used and abused when they should be in a structured environment.

This is not acceptable. This defeats the purpose of the workshop programs in the first place. The workshop was designed by parents to give their sons and daughters dignity, self worth and socialization with their peers.

Parents are not going to let theorists destroy the most successful program in all the disability field!

It’s tough to run hab centers, group homes, sheltered workshops, etc. It takes, brick and mortar, supervision, technical skill and work. That’s right, plain old hard work.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 28, 2009 | 12:04 p.m.

ray you are right about the going .O.T. and I apologize but this is one of my pet peaves and now that you posted the above info I am even more peeved.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 28, 2009 | 2:03 p.m.

This is what happens when the GENIUSES decide to tell a business owner how much they should be paying their employees by raising the minimum wage in a bad economy!

As we can see, some of us are not quite as smart as we thing we are.

Lower wages or NO JOB AT ALL? That IS the question...


(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 28, 2009 | 2:57 p.m.

Chuck, my former employer (Datastorm Technologies) had what I assumed was a sheltered workshop to some degree. I worked in a separate area, and then a completely different building, so was not very familiar with it (plus this was 10+ years ago), but at least a portion of the people packaging the software for distribution fit your criteria I believe. I think the company worked with ACT to locate these employees, but I could be mistaken about that. Funny thing though, is that this example proves you wrong that private enterprise can't provide meaningful employment for the disabled.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 28, 2009 | 3:56 p.m.

John Schultz then how come we do not see more of it in the media,in our community,in our county,in our state and across the country as a whole instead of these major companies outsourcing everything over seas?

You know why because private enterprise is only for themselves only. They want to be exclusive and not inclusive at all means of the word for max profit.

The greed of private enterprise killed our country,killed our economy and our job market. Nothing else.

Private enterprise cannot even take care of itself and you expect it to be able to take care of the disabled population in tough times who are looking for meaningful employment?

Get real with out some form of government intervention in this matter private industry is a joke.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 28, 2009 | 4:01 p.m.

>>> Ricky Gurley Lower wages or NO JOB AT ALL? That IS the question. <<<

I talk to people all of the time and there are alot of them that are happy with the types of service work they do because it is the type of work they enjoy doing. Often times they tell me if they only made $18k - $20k a year with affordable health bennies that they would be just happy but they say there are not enough service jobs to go around.

What does that tell you about the needs in the service job industry?

It tells me as a consumer there is a need for jobs in that income range.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 28, 2009 | 5:33 p.m.

I don't know, Chuck. To be honest, you might even know more about this topic than I do. I am not a political person, really. And I don't follow economic news, much (other than to have it thrust in my face like it has been lately).

But, I know a few things. Or at least I know what seems right to me. As a business owner, I know I don't want the government telling me what I HAVE to pay all of my employees. I know that if I am already financially stressed, and the government raises that expectation of what it is telling me I HAVE to pay my employees even higher; I might be inclined to let a few employees go.

That is really about all I can contribute on this topic. Very basic, but I think it makes a certain amount of sense.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 28, 2009 | 5:47 p.m.

Ricky Gurley sure it does as it is all relevant IMHO too.

The thing is I talk to alot of people who do the common service jobs daily and they love those kinds of jobs. They have found their nitch so to say. They just wish there was more of them at a more respectable pay scale. That is not too much to ask.

The thing with the Shelter Work Shop employment opportunity is that the disabled population is a huge untapped resource as far as basic to somewhat advance light industrial/commercial assembly types of work.

Our state and our nation should be offering tax breaks to those companies who help create the Shelter Work Shop environments to keep employment opportunities for the disabled citizens of our nation instead of out sourcing all of those potential jobs.

Too many people are crying across this nation the disabled do not work,do not contribute and in general alot of so called normal people give the disabled citizen a bad name yet they offer no solutions to the problem or the larger issue.

I am just presenting a solution to this ongoing issue.

Whether anybody who is at the top of a company actually reads and understands what I am saying is a hit or miss but at least I put this presentation out on the table for discussion and review. There are other pluses too.

That is the important thing.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 28, 2009 | 6:02 p.m.

Chuck sez:

"Private enterprise cannot even take care of itself and you expect it to be able to take care of the disabled population in tough times who are looking for meaningful employment?"

Private enterprise creates the wealth in this country. Government only redirects it. Where do you think all of the government's revenue comes from?

Outsourcing is not a Bush invention. It happens because it is currently cheaper to ship things from other countries than to pay the differential in wages here.

There are private sheltered workshops - Goodwill is an old and well known one. However, in lean economic times, companies will have to go with the most productive and least accomodated employees to be competitive. What can I say? That's reality.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 28, 2009 | 6:40 p.m.

>>> Private enterprise creates the wealth in this country. <<<

Ya that is why a greater percentage of them are going under and have their hands out at this time huh?

The greed over private enterprise is killing this country too.

That is reality sir.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 28, 2009 | 6:53 p.m.

Everyone has their hands out today, Chuck. It's the expected reaction to the "spendulus" package.

Government never supports itself. That's why they need taxes. They are supposed to do things "for the common good", and as long as they do that, I'm fine with it.

Private enterprise is the only thing keeping this country going. Without it, we'd be a caricature of the Soviet Union, and just as prone to collapse (we may collapse anyway, but that's a topic for another discussion). If we collapse, it won't be private industry that did it.


(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 28, 2009 | 7:12 p.m.

Well put, Mark. Private enterprise and the government taxes it, and its employees pay, take care of Chuck and let him gripe at the world. If there is a better economic model, I hope Chuck points us to it before we're boiling stones for soup.

This dicussion reminds of me of this classic exchange between Milton Friedman and Phil Donahue:

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 1, 2009 | 12:52 a.m.

No need for "Stone Soup."
One approach to a "better way" may come from the ideology of the following author:
Book: Agenda for a new Economy
(From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth)
Why Wall Street can't be fixed and how to replace it.
(Scary stuff, thinking outside the box.)
I've watched him make presentations on Amy Goodman's, Democracy, Now television show. Maybe Gary Nolan can invite him on his radio program to explore something better than the direction we're heading in now.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr March 1, 2009 | 3:31 a.m.

>>> ray shapiro March 1, 2009 | 12:52 a.m.
John: No need for "Stone Soup." <<<

ray shapiro I am used to it by now,even expect it as the standard answer given and it goes to back up my previous commentary of "they want this and they don't want that but they provide no solutions to keep both going".

It is the only snippets alot can give but the real hard core solutions are beyond their chain of thoughts because they do not really know how to be creative and to think farther than the edges of the box we have enclosed themselves into.

Which is ok as even they can still learn if they so choose too but it is not mine nor yours ray shapiro to show them the way but it is their own stumbling block they put before themselves.

That is just another reason people like Donald Trump are rich and others of so called want to be like mind are scraping out their living in the ditch.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 1, 2009 | 4:58 a.m.

The solution to keep things going?

Leave it alone. The economy has always come back independent (one might say in spite of) of government fix-it solutions.

Things like CCC and WPA employed people during the '30s, but they didn't fix anything. The great depression was ended by WW II and the increase in manufacturing it brought.

We are setting the stage, with this "stimulus" for a bout of inflation that this country has never seen. Perhaps, if the economy can only sustain itself at a lower level, we should let it be, and adjust. It's really not that bad, for as much political mileage as some would get out of it.


(Report Comment)

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