Economy & Innovation

St. Louis on the Air
2:09 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Missouri Ranks Among Worst States For Widening Income Inequality

(via Flickr/SodanieChea)

Within approximately the last twenty years, Missouri ranks among the worst states in which the gap between rich and middle-income households has widened.  That’s according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we also take note of the report’s finding in which the gap between the very richest and the poor is even larger with the top 5 percent of Missouri households having an average income 11.7 times that of the bottom fifth.

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Business
5:24 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Hostess Ordered Back Into Mediation With Union

Twinkies
Credit via Wikimedia Commons

A bankruptcy judge in New York has ordered Hostess Brands Incorporated back into mediation with its second-largest union, meaning for the time being the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread will not shut down.

The company had begun the process of liquidating its assets following a Nov. 9 strike by its bakers' union.   The Hostess plant in St. Louis employed 360 people before it was closed last week.

Dave Douglas has worked for the company for 28 years and says he can’t afford to give up any more in wage and benefits to keep the job.

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Hostess shuts down
5:31 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Missouri Grocers: 'We Expect To Be Out Of Twinkies Within 24 Hours'

(via Flickr/sekimura)

Grocery stores across Missouri are running out of Twinkies and other Hostess products, following today’s announcement that the company is going out of business.

Shoppers had already been snapping up Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other Hostess-made snacks prior to the announcement that the company was closing.  Lori Willis is spokeswoman for the St. Louis-based Schnucks grocery chain.  She says they expect to completely run out of Hostess snack products by Saturday.

“As a retailer, this is the very last thing you want to hear, that you’re not going to be able to meet the needs of your customers, so we’re working very hard with a lot of other suppliers to make sure that we can fill in where we can," Willis said.

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Business
5:24 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Army Corps Moving Forward With Plans To Reduce Flow On Missouri River

Low water on Mississippi River could get lower
Credit Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Businesses that work and ship on the Mississippi River are seeking a presidential declaration keep water flowing out of reservoirs on the Missouri River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closes dams in South Dakota at this time every year to store water to maintain levels later in the spring and summer.

The Missouri River accounts for roughly 60 percent of the water flowing by St. Louis. In a drought-year like this year, George Foster of St. Louis’ J.B. Marine says reducing river levels would risk closing the shipping channel.

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Economy
5:05 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Mo. Minimum Wage Increasing - But Is It A Good Thing?

(via Flickr/JD Hancock)

Missouri's minimum wage will rise by a dime to $7.35 an hour in 2013.

For the past several years, Missouri has followed the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That's because the federal rate was equal to or greater than the state's minimum, which is adjusted annually based on the cost of living.

But inflation has now pushed Missouri's minimum wage above the federal standard. The new wage is posted on the website of the state labor department.

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Business
2:49 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Northwest Plaza Mall Redevelopment Under Way

Northwest Plaza Mall in 2010
Credit Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Demolition crews are set to make way for a $106 million overhaul of the old Northwest Plaza Mall in St. Ann.

The nearly two-million square foot property has sat vacant for years and will be rebranded as “The Crossings at Northwest”.

On Tuesday elected officials took turns taking a sledgehammer to the old Sears Automotive Center, located at the corner of Lindbergh and St. Charles Rock Road.

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Hostess
4:43 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Hostess Closing St. Louis Facility, Two Others, Following Strike

(via Flickr/sekimura)

Hostess Brands Inc. is permanently closing three bakeries following a nationwide strike by its bakers union.

The Texas-based maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs says the strike has prevented it from producing and delivering products.

Hostess warned earlier this month that the strike, by about 30 percent of its workforce, could lead to bakery closures. It said Monday that it will close bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati that collectively employ 627 workers. The company has about 18,300 employees.

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Barge Shipping
12:17 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Nixon: Keep Water On Rivers Flowing, Economy With It

A barge on the Mississippi River.
(via Flickr/The Confluence)

Updated 12:29 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and the barge industry are imploring the federal government to keep water flowing on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers or face potential "economic disaster."

The drought has left many waterways at historic lows. Nixon sent a letter Friday urging the Army Corps of Engineers to rethink plans to reduce the amount of water released from the Missouri's upstream reservoir. That would also reduce flow on the Mississippi below St. Louis.

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Boeing
2:10 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Boeing Shakes Up Shrinking Defense Business

The Boeing Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system (UAS), just one of the models of aircraft Boeing produces, during an unveiling ceremony in St. Louis on May 10, 2010. Reports state China will announce deals today including one to buy 200 Boeing airplanes.
(UPI/Boeing Aircraft Handout)

Updated at 5:20 p.m. with comments from Boeing.

Boeing’s defense arm will find another $1.6 billion in cuts by 2013.

The company announced the additional reductions today, though no details were provided. Defense , Space and Security, which is based in St. Louis, has already cut more than $2 billion since 2010, including a 30 percent reduction in management-level positions. 

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9:01 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Even After Solid Gains, 22 Million Americans Are Unemployed Or Underemployed

Lead in text: 
NPR's Planet Money team comes through again with a visual breakdown of the jobs numbers. Explore it all via the link.
As of September, 11.7 million people were unemployed. But that doesn't include people who were working part time because they can't find a full-time job. It also doesn't include people who wanted a job but haven't looked for work in the past four weeks.

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