Economy & Innovation

Economy
1:43 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Illinois unemployment rate drops to 9.4 percent

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

Illinois added 3,800 jobs in January, and the state unemployment rate fell for the fifth straight month to 9.4 percent.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the 0.3 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate was the largest decline since September 1992.

The agency says the number of unemployed people dropped by 18,100 in January to 620,300.

Illinois has added 122,900 private sector jobs since January 2010, the first month that numbers increased after 23 consecutive months of declines. The state unemployment rate peaked that month at 11.4 percent.

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Enterprise Rent-a-Car
1:41 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Consumer advocates press Enterprise to endorse recall legislation

Joan Bray (left) and Judi Roman (right) of the Consumers Council of Missouri meet with representatives of Enterprise Rent-a-Car at their corporate headquarters.
Joseph Leahy, St. Louis Public Radio

Consumer advocates are pressing Enterprise Rent-a-Car to support a bill to keep rental cars that are subject to federal recall off the road.

Joan Bray of the Consumers Council of Missouri says while the St. Louis-based company has agreed in principle, it should endorse a Congressional amendment named for two sisters who were killed while driving a PT Cruiser under recall.

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Missouri Unemployment Rate
11:22 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Missouri unemployment rate falls in January

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

Missouri's unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent while the state's overall payroll increased by thousands of jobs.

The state Department of Economic Development reported Tuesday that Missouri's net nonfarm payroll increased by 21,100 jobs in January. Officials reported that Missouri had a net of loss of 11,800 jobs in December and a loss of 3,300 jobs in November.

Besides expanding payrolls for the first time in three months, Missouri's unemployment rate in January dropped by half a point to 7.5 percent. That is Missouri's lowest jobless rate since November 2008.

Shell
9:51 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Shell to close operations in Ill., Mo.; over 80 jobs eliminated

Shell Oil Co. has announced it's shuttering two St. Louis-area facilities. Pictured is a Shell gas station in Florida.
(via Flickr/dno1967b)

Shell Oil Co. plans to close its oil blending and packaging plant in Roxana, where Shell began operations in 1918.

A company spokeswoman says the Wood River Blending Plant is closing because it needs major upgrades and because it is on property Shell doesn't own.

The closure of the Shell Lubricants site will result in the loss of more than 80 jobs in Roxana, just east of St. Louis. The company says it will also close its regional distribution center in O'Fallon, Mo., which employs more than a dozen people.

Panera
11:45 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Panera plans more pay-what-you-want cafés

Panera Bread plans to add two more pay-what-you-want cafes later this year, part of the company's effort to help feed the hungry in a dignified way.

Panera spokeswoman Kate Antonacci said Thursday that the specific locations won't be announced until spring.

One could open by summer, the other in the fall. A third site is also being considered for later this year.

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St. Louis Rams
5:19 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Rams reach agreement with CVC for London game

St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford looks over his line at the Tennessee Titans defense in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on August 20, 2011.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Following a back-and-forth in which the St. Louis Rams and the St.

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AB expansion
10:57 am
Mon February 13, 2012

AB plans to increase production at Arnold can facility

Anheuser-Busch announced Monday that it will expand production at its Arnold, Mo., Metal Container Corporation facility.

Anheuser-Busch announced Monday that it plans to increase production at its Metal Container Corporation in Arnold, resulting in at least 20 new jobs there.

Metal Container Corporation supplies more than 45 percent of the beer brewer's beer cans and 55 percent of its lids in the United States. It also produces cans and lids for soft drink companies, including PepsiCo and Monster Beverage Corporation.

The expansion announced Monday will add about 100,000 square feet to the Arnold facility. It's expected to be complete in 2013.

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Economic Development / Jason Hall
11:25 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Hall resigns as Mo. Dept. of Economic Development as confirmation deadline expires

Jason Hall (at podium) with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. Hall was Nixon's nominee to be the next director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development in late Dec. 2011. Hall has since resigned following the expiration of the deadline to confirm him.
(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.

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Business / Edward Jones Dome
5:19 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

$124 million in Edward Jones Dome upgrades proposed

The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, home of the St. Louis Rams.
(via Wikimedia Commons)

The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission is proposing $124 million in improvements to the Edward Jones Dome in hopes of keeping the Rams in St. Louis.

A lease agreement with the team requires the dome to be among the top 25 percent of all stadiums as measured by various criteria.

If not, the Rams could break the lease after the 2014 season and potentially move. Owner Stan Kroenke has been non-committal about keeping the Rams in St. Louis.

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Business / Edward Jones Dome
5:15 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Dome deadline arrives

The Edward Jones Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams.
(via Wikimedia Commons)

The deadline for the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to give the Rams a plan for updating the Edward Jones Dome is Wednesday.

The Rams’ lease allows the team to leave in 2015 if the Dome isn’t in the top 25 percent of NFL stadiums.

But since the Dome’s construction in 1995 several impressive stadiums have been built such as the more than a billion dollar Cowboys Stadium.

Sports economist Patrick Rishe, a professor at Webster University, says it would take hundreds of millions of dollars get the Dome in the top tier.

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