Boone County reports biggest employment jump among Missouri's large counties

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 | 8:57 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Boone County had the biggest jump in employment from September 2010 to September 2011 compared to Missouri's other large counties.

Six of Missouri's seven largest counties saw an increase in employment during that period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Total employment in Boone County in September 2011 was 84,392 workers, up from 82,511 the year before, according the bureau's County Employment and Wages report. That represented a 2.4 percent increase.

Greene County was next with 1.6 percent, and St. Charles County followed with 1.5 percent.

Large counties are those with employment of 75,000 or more, as measured by 2010 annual average employment, plus the city of St. Louis.

The average weekly wage in Boone County increased by 5.2 percent from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2011.

The average weekly wage in the county was $733 in September 2011. The average weekly wage at the same time in the United States was $916; in Missouri it was $804.

Comparing third quarters, St. Louis City had the highest increase in wage growth, 7.3 percent, followed by St. Louis County, 6.4 percent, and Jackson County, 6 percent.

That data — which is based on industry and not occupation — comes from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program, which includes information from employers given to the state, said labor bureau economist Linda Nickisch. It does not include information about elected officials or the self-employed. The report also doesn't give information about the types of jobs being created.

Still, a general increase in jobs is good news, said Michael Brooks, president of the Columbia-based Regional Economic Development Inc.

"The increase in spending in the community as a result of those jobs is going to be important for local commerce," Brooks said.

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