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Jobs: Political Spin or Positive Outlook?

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon never mentions the drop in the state's labor force when he is talking about the number of new jobs.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon continues to tour the state touting job creation, citing the latest employment data at each stop along the way.

In the first two months of this year, 24,100 new jobs were created, pushing the unemployment rate down to a 38-month-low of 7.4 percent.

After touring the BioGenerator facility in St. Louis on Wednesday, Nixon said the persistent focus on creating new jobs is now starting to pay off.

The same employment data, however, shows a drop of 30,070 in the state's labor force in the same time period. This tidbit is never mentioned.

During a press conference, the governor said he is known for his positive outlook, adding he awakes each day thinking the glass is half full.

After mentioning "job creation" a handful of times, Nixon said that the job numbers are an important indicator to help measure the state's economy.

Near the end of the question and answer portion of the event, I asked how he explained the difference between the 24,100 new jobs in two months and the 30,070 drop in the labor force.

Nixon, who is up for reelection this year, responded that he looks at the entire report.

"Are we to the finish line? No. This is a process," Nixon said. 

"I'm not happy when anyone is unemployed."

Why does the governor never mention the drop in the state's labor force? Are Nixon's frequent stops around the state to promote job creation political spin or part of his self-described positive outlook? 

I want to know your opinions. Please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me anytime.

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missourijournal.com, (314) 482-7944

Hook is editor of Missouri Journal, which tracks the economy across the Show-Me State

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gaen March 30, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I still own home in STL area but I moved last year to Chicago. My army husband was transferred for just a year for one last assignment. I write an 11 page report trying to not only save film in MO but bring more. I also taught film students. I based my report on the state's own report about film. Plus interviews with two universities. Over 60 percent of MO grads have film degrees. When govt turned away a film to be made in stl and axed the film office I decided MO was not place for me. I have heard from students about to graduate. I tell them to go to Louisiana, NM or other film centers if they can't afford L.A. The governor and legislators don't understand simple math, the film business, or their own college grads. It is a viable industry that can employee thousands and bring in much needed revenue and tourism. Just ask Springfield and Winter's Bone cast and crew. And now take a look at NC with the Hunger Games tourism already starting. I go to downtown STL and see so much potential for film and resulting businesses as rest of MO as well. Know how many responses I received after all that work and sending to 37 legislators and arts leaders state wide? Two. One senator just questioned my voting record. After being in army 27 years. Moving 16 times. I want to live in a place not only with so much potential for business, film and otherwise, but also gets it and progressively works toward that potential
Alex E. Cahn March 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I think the governor was very gracious in the way he put things. If it was me, I would have pointed out (1) that nationally, we now have pretty consistent job growth... still not enough jobs... but heading in the right direction, and (2) that Bush left us an economy that was LOSING 750,000 JOBS PER MONTH. That's in contrast to 24 months in a row now of private sector job growth.
TruthMattersNow April 06, 2012 at 12:39 AM
The Democratic party and this Administration have an aversion to telling the truth. "First Student Inc. plans to reduce its workforce by 100 workers in St. Joseph in Buchanan County, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filing posted by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The WARN Act requires employers to provide a 60-day notice in advance of covered mass layoffs and plant closings. Alliant Techsystems Inc. plans to layoff 325 workers in Jefferson County and Molina Healthcare Inc. intends to layoff 119 in St. Louis County, according to the online filing. The three notices combined will affect 544 employees. Last month, nine notices were filed, affecting 2,429, in Missouri. Seven notices were filed in February, affecting 614 workers. Only three layoff notices were filed in January, impacting 229." This from Brian R. Hook, at the Missouri Journal
Brian R. Hook April 06, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Thanks for mentioning Missouri Journal story: http://www.missourijournal.com/2012/04/04/layoffs-at-three-companies-to-hit-hundreds/
flyoverland April 06, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Sorry, but I am confused. 60% of Missouri grads have film degrees? I doubt whether .006% have a film degree. The problem with the "film" business is that the jobs are not permanent. They employ people temporarily during production, then those people go on unemployment until the next job. The reason these types of projects don't come here is the unions control all the trades that work in that field (lighting, set design, etc.). It is just too expensive to do here. The other reason, unlike California, where you can work virtually 12 months a year, we are hamstrung by our climate. We would be better suited manufacturing equipment to be used in films, except that it is all made in China and Japan anymore.

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