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GRAPHIC: A portrait of Missouri

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | 1:17 p.m. CDT; updated 5:13 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 18, 2012

The state of Missouri is 68,741.5 square miles, with 114 counties. Not every part of Missouri is the same, with different primary employers and median incomes. The links below show some of those differences. Scroll over each map to see exact numbers.

Unemployment by county

The state's largest industries are also those experiencing more mass layoffs than other industries. The second largest industry, manufacturing, laid off at least 9,800 people last year, making it the industry with the most mass layoffs in Missouri. The manufacturing industry employed 243,140 workers. Accommodation and food services and retail trade had the second and third highest number of layoffs in 2011. Retail trade is the largest industry in Missouri.

However, there have been fewer mass layoffs than in the past five years, and Missouri's unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing. A mass layoff, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a situation in which 50 or more people have filed their first claims for unemployment insurance benefits against an establishment during five consecutive weeks.

The unemployment rate in Missouri in May 2007 was 4.4 percent. This was the lowest rate of unemployment in Missouri the year the recession began. February's unemployment rate, the most recently available, was 8.2 percent. The highest Missouri's unemployment rate has been was 10.6 percent in February 1983.

Median income by county

Minimum wage in Missouri is $7.25, with a cost of living increase or decrease due on the first of every year.

Sources of income are income from jobs, self-employment income, income from investments and property, royalties, or income from trusts or estates, social security, public assistance, pensions, child support, alimony or other sources regularly received.

Population by county

The five largest cities in Missouri by population are Kansas City (Jackson County), St. Louis (an independent city), Springfield (Greene County), Independence (Jackson County) and Columbia (Boone County).

Joplin, the county seat of Jasper County, serves as a regional trade hub, which is why the population in that area is higher than its surrounding counties.

Employment in manufacturing by county

The largest segment of manufacturers in Missouri is in food products, which employed about 39,000 people in 2010. Other products manufactured in Missouri are transportation equipment and metal products.

About 9 percent of total employment in Missouri is in manufacturing, and the industry accounts for about 11 percent of all wages paid in the state.

Employment in retail trade by county

General merchandise accounts for about 25 percent of retail trade, followed by food and beverages. Retail trade accounts for about 14 percent of employment in the state and pays about 8.3 percent of the wages.

Most of the growth in retail trade has been in areas surrounding interstates that can serve as regional trade centers, such as Springfield, Joplin and Columbia. Areas that lost retail trade are in the northern rural agricultural areas and the central Ozark region.

Employment in education, social assistance and health services by county

Of Missouri's top 50 employers by employment and wages, 15 are education or health employers.

Many of the state's health centers are part of educational institutions or partnered with such institutions, such as the UM Health System in Columbia and Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.


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