Missouri: Leading Or Following On Job Creation? | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri: Leading Or Following On Job Creation?

Oct 10, 2012

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was in St. Charles on Wednesday trying to burnish his credentials as chief steward of the state's economy.

It’s an election year, and so the question of who deserves credit or blame for the economy is up for debate.

Nixon toured LMI Aerospace Inc., a maker of airplane parts for the commercial, corporate and military jets.

LMI says it plans to add 100 jobs over the next five years.  A move Nixon says is part of a larger story about manufacturing growth in Missouri.

“I mean, organizations like this can be anywhere in America, quite frankly anywhere in the world,” Nixon said. “And the fact is they are choosing to expand right here.  It shows a great confidence in our business climate and in the workers of our state.”

LMI’s CEO Ron Saks says he is a-political, but says it makes sense to keep his company headquartered in Missouri.

“States are so competitive right now that it’s really the states that can execute the best, to make doing business their most friendly,” Saks said.  “I think Missouri has done a good job of that over the years that we’ve been in Missouri, so we continue to grow the business.”

Even as LMI expands, Charter Cable recently announced plans to move its company headquarters to Connecticut.

Missouri’s unemployment rate currently sits at 7.2 percent, six tenths of a point below the national average of 7.8 percent.

David Spence, Nixon’s Republican opponent for governor, claims the state unemployment rate would be much higher, if 106,000 people hadn’t left the work force altogether.

David Spence, quotes data claiming that under Nixon, Missouri’s economy has become the worst in the region.

Follow Adam Allington on Twitter: @aallington