Department of Economic Development

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A state-run nonprofit corporation needs to improve its transparency, according to an audit released Thursday.

KellyB. | Flickr

Missouri's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in nearly four years - good news for incumbent Jay Nixon with the election three weeks away.

The state Department of Economic Development announced this morning that the rate is 6.9 percent - down three-tenths of a point from August, and nearly three points below its recession-era peak in August of 2009.

The state says companies added 2,500 jobs in September, bringing the total number of new jobs this year to 24,700.

Nixon applauded the numbers in a statement:

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A state audit released today says that the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) could have done a better job of screening applicants for tax credits for the failed Mamtek project in Moberly.

Two years ago the small northeast Missouri town issued $39 million in bonds to get the company to build an artificial sweetener plant.  Mamtek later missed a bond payment and construction halted, and Moberly’s bond rating was downgraded as a result.  State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) said the due diligence procedures used by the DED were woefully inadequate.

(via Gov. Nixon's office / video screen capture)

Updated 1:49 p.m. with additional information from the Associated Press on other failed appointments.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced this morning that Jason Hall, Nixon's nominee to be the new director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, has resigned.

(via Gov. Nixon's office / video screen capture)

Senate Republicans have scuttled Gov. Jay Nixon's nominee to direct the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

The Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee refused to vote Wednesday on confirming Jason Hall to head the department. Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer says he has no intention of bringing Hall up for a committee vote before the deadline to confirm him expires.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri  Gov. Jay Nixon has picked the head of the state-funded Missouri Technology Corp. to be the state's third economic development director in less than four year.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two days of hearings are underway at the Missouri Capitol to explore why an artificial sweetener facility in Moberly never opened and why the small town’s bond rating took a hit.

The House Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability is focusing on conflicting documents over the trustworthiness of the company Mamtek. Corey Mehaffy heads the Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation. He testified that the state Department of Economic Development never shared emails with the city revealing that a DED official could not verify whether Mamtek had a functioning plant in China.

(Mo. Dept. of Economic Development)

The director of Missouri's Department of Economic Development is stepping down at the end of the year.

In a news release Tuesday from Gov. Jay Nixon, department director David Kerr cited a desire to spend more time with his family after working for 35 years in the public and private sectors. Nixon said he would move quickly to select a new director.

Kerr took office in November 2009.

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

A new report says Missouri's jobless rate edged lower last month despite a net loss of jobs.

The state Department of Economic Development said Friday that seasonally adjusted unemployment fell by one-tenth of a point in September to 8.7 percent.

The agency also says Missouri had a net loss of 4,000 nonfarm jobs in September. The biggest losses were in retail trade, financial activities, professional and business services and government.

Jobs were added in other sectors, including health care and social assistance, which grew by 3,300 jobs.

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

The unemployment rate in Missouri ticked down slightly last month, according to new data from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Missouri's rate last month was 8.8 percent, down from 8.9 percent in May 2011, and a sharp decrease from June 2010, when 9.2 percent of the state's citizen's were out of work.

The national rate for June stood at 9.2 percent.