economy

Maria Altman|St. Louis Public Radio

The uncertainty of state and federal incentives for wind and solar power may have hampered some of Missouri's growth in the renewable energy industry in recent years, but companies are pressing on. 

Economist Art Laffer talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 13, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

What would happen if you no longer had to pay income taxes?

Retired financial executive Rex Sinquefield and economist Art Laffer believe it would lead to economic growth and wealth.

“Sometimes when you lower taxes, you get less money. But sometimes you create enough economic activity to actually get more revenues,” Laffer told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday. “If you start lowering taxes from very high levels, you can actually sometimes actually increase revenues. Not all the time, but sometimes that happens.”

Eastern Missouri and southern Illinois saw the unemployment rate drop significantly to 6.3 percent - the lowest level since mid-2008.
BLS, courtesy of Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows two-thirds of businesses surveyed are moderately optimistic about the St. Louis region's economic outlook in 2015.

Kurt Nordstrom via Flickr

The average cost of a wedding in Missouri is $22,343. Same-sex marriage is, at least for now, legal in Missouri. So what does that mean, economically?

Last week, a federal judge in Kansas City and a circuit court judge in St. Louis struck down Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage. 

A processing floor at Express Scripts in north St. Louis County.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Just months after unveiling a multi-million dollar expansion of its headquarters in north St. Louis county, Express Scripts has announced it will lay off 400 people at multiple facilities around the country. That includes 90 people in St. Louis.

The layoffs are in addition to 1,890 jobs that were cut system-wide in May.

“These are difficult but necessary decisions we have to make in order to position our company for success, future growth and continued service excellence to clients and members,” spokesperson Brian Henry said in an email.

Last month’s State of St. Louis Workforce report examined St. Louis’ economy and labor market, and the local demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics talent.

This is a follow-up to Monday's "St. Louis on the Air" show about the middle class. Hear the audio from that show and read Kyle Jacoby's story to find out what the experts said about the middle class, the economy and the American Dream.

You've heard it before: The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. But what about those in the middle?

Flickr/Rob Lee

The rich are getting richer. The top 5 percent of earners in the U.S. accounted for nearly 40 percent of personal consumption expenditures in 2012, according to the Institute for New Economic Thinking. That is up from 28 percent in 1995. 

Flickr user omervk

A recent Brookings Institution report looks at millions of job openings across the country to see how hard it is to fill science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions in a hundred metro areas. The answer: hard.

(provided by the St. Louis Federal Reserve)

The St. Louis area's job growth has lagged far behind other Midwestern cities and the national average since 2010, but things could be turning around.

The metropolitan area saw 1.8 percent growth in the number of jobs from 2010 to 2013. By contrast, Kansas City had double the growth with 3.5 percent; Chicago saw 4.5 percent, and the national average was even higher at 4.7 percent.

Federal Reserve economist Charles Gascon said St. Louis’ number — about 22,000 jobs over the three years — is a reflection of a near freeze in job growth here in 2011 and 2012.

buzzybee | sxc.hu

It probably says something about our times that the book that’s sold out on Amazon is not the latest Twilight thriller but a dense, 700-pager by a French economics professor: Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. He’s also making the rounds of TV talk shows like an A-list actor promoting a new movie.

(Historic American Building Survey at the Library of Congress)

On Friday, Arch Grants announced the finalists for its 2014 Arch Grants Business Plan Competition. The field has been whittled down to 46 entrepreneurs. Twenty of those finalists will win $50,000 each along with business support services to help them launch amazing businesses. In exchange for winning, they have to locate, or relocate, to St. Louis for at least a year.

(Credit: flickr/Hiroshi Nishino)

We all know that St. Louis is unique in many ways — our passion for baseball; our obsession with bricks; our Arch.

It turns out, the region is even unique when it comes to gentrification. Two area academics wrote about their research on St. Louis gentrification in nextSTL.com.  They say the preconception about gentrification is that upwardly mobile whites move into urban neighborhoods and push out the largely minority, low-income population that lived there originally.

(via Flickr/ChrisYunker)

If you are a regular listener to our radio airwaves, you may have noticed that St. Louis Public Radio has been asking for your financial support  to help keep our station up and running.

There are a million reasons to become a member and if you enjoy reading this Rundown, then that is one of the reasons. If you haven’t yet contributed, I encourage you to do so.

That’s the end of my pitch to try to get you to contribute… so read on!

Marinela

Income inequality in the United States is a hot-button political issue in this mid-term election year. Advocates for substantial increases in the minimum wage, for instance, believe that imposing higher wages on employers will reduce poverty and lessen income inequality. The evidence just does not justify this claim. Workers who remain employed after the increase are made better off on the backs of those workers who face reduced hours or unemployment following government-mandated wage hikes.

(via Flickr/iChaz)

According to World Trade Center St. Louis executive director Tim Nowak, the number one destination for St. Louis exports is China. With such a direct link to the St. Louis economy, the future of U.S.-China relations is particularly significant to the St. Louis region.

In his new book “Contest of the Century,” Financial Times journalist Geoff Dyer offers an in-depth look at the increasingly competitive nature of that relationship. He is in St. Louis for a presentation tonight at the St. Louis County Library.

linder6580 | sxc.hu

“Capitalism is the crisis.” So read a banner hung off of an overpass on eastbound Interstate 44 heading toward downtown St. Louis. But what did it mean?

Capitalism is characterized by private as opposed to government ownership of the capital used in the production and distribution of goods. This is done in the pursuit of profit.

Provided by Roni Chambers

Roni Chambers, who led the now-shuttered GO! Network, is practicing what she used to preach to white-collar professionals who turned to her nonprofit for help after they lost their jobs during the Great Recession.

Blunt Offers State of the Union 'Prebuttal'

Jan 25, 2014
St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says President Obama has "a lot of explaining to do” in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Blunt offered a preemptive rebuttal to the speech in the GOP’s weekly radio address Saturday, saying Americans are suffering under unnecessary regulation and lackluster job creation.

Obama is expected to call for a “Year of Action” on poverty, but Blunt calls the focus on income inequality “more of the same.”

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

The end of the year is always a time to take stock of what has transpired during the past year and what is likely to happen in the one about to begin.  Let’s do so by considering several key economic measures.

Economic expansion limped along for another year.  Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, is the best measure of the economy’s total output. It increased this year, but not nearly as fast as many would hope, especially three years out form the end of the Great Recession.

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