• St. Louis Businesses Optimistic Going Into New Quarter

    Oct 04, 2016

    Local businesses are optimistic about St. Louis’ economy thanks to a strong third quarter. Hiring rates are climbing as the labor market improves. Additionally, improvements in the region’s commercial and residential real estate markets as well as commercial lending show consumers are growing more confident.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Third Quarter 2016 Burgundy Book reports that the metropolitan area’s unemployment rate is 4.9%. Employment growth is trending above the national average, particularly in the private service-providing sector. Business contacts are reporting increases wages from one year ago and expectations that increases will continue through the end of the year.

    New and existing home sales in St. Louis are rising rapidly. Home sales continue to outpace the national average while residential construction, while modest, is still higher than last year’s rate.

    The positive uptick in construction carries over to speculative and build-to-suit industrial projects. According to the Burgundy Book, “Almost twice as much industrial space is currently under construction in St. Louis compared with a year ago,” indicating the region’s continued growth.

  • Upbeat Hiring Swing Expected in Fourth Quarter 2016

    Sep 16, 2016

    The St. Louis metropolitan area continues to see its intended hiring rates climb as the fourth quarter approaches. Not only are more employers expecting to hire more employees, but increased hiring plans in the financial services, health services, transportation and utilities and manufacturing industry clusters shows that the region is progressively growing stronger.

    According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, the area is expected to see a healthy hiring increase during the final quarter of 2016. Overall, St. Louis’ Net Employment Outlook of 20% -- the strongest fourth quarter in the decade so far.

    Additionally, the current Net Employment Outlook outranks 75 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas and outpaces the national Net Employment Outlook average.

    The 20% Net Employment Outlook breaks down as such: 21% employers expect to hire more employees, 74% will maintain their staff levels, 4% are unsure of their plans and 1% percent plan to make staff cuts. Although the rates fluctuate from quarter to quarter, planned employment has steadily increased since the first quarter of 2013 and continues to grow stronger as the decade progresses.

    As the region’s hiring expectations increase, so does the strength in key industry clusters. The Manpower Survey notes that the region' positive growth is specifically noticeable not only in the financial services, health services, transportation and utilities and manufacturing sectors, but also in the construction, government, leisure and hospitality industries.