Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, and House Speaker Todd Richardson talk during the veto session.
Tim Bomel | Missouri House

After hours of Senate debate, the Missouri General Assembly ended its annual veto session by barring local communities from increasing their minimum wage or banning plastic bags.

Legislators also have overridden Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would restrict Missouri’s A+ scholarship program to U.S. citizens and immigrants with permanent-residency status. 

The Mission Continues is helping launch an effort to help veterans reintegrate into communities and improve their economic opportunities. Here, members of the St. Louis chapter participate in a service project.
The Mission Continues St. Louis | Facebook

St. Louis is one of the first 25 cities where a new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' initiative to give veterans more educational and employment opportunities launches this summer. 

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick watches as House Speaker John Diehl signs the veto override of HB 150. unemployment
Tim Bommel | Missouri House of Representatives

With no votes to spare, the Missouri House acted Tuesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would reduce the state’s unemployment benefits to 13 weeks, one of the lowest in the country.

The lower benefits would go into effect when the state’s unemployment rate is below 6 percent, as it is now.

help wanted job listing jobs unemployment
neetalparekh | Flickr

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed his second bill of the session on Tuesday. 

This bill, House Bill 150, ties unemployment benefits to the state's jobless rate and would have cut the number of weeks someone could receive benefits to 13 weeks when the jobless rate dips below 6 percent.

KellyB. | Flickr

The Missouri House sent a bill to Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk Tuesday that ties unemployment benefits to the state’s unemployment rate.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri Senate spent nearly four hours Monday night working on two bills that they chose not to vote on yet.

Derek Laney, Michael McPhearson, and Jeff Ordower (from left to right) were among protesters outside the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on Thursday.
(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

What recovery?

That was the question being asked Thursday by a small group of activists outside the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

About a dozen protesters called on the Fed to focus on unemployment, especially among minorities, rather than on keeping inflation rates low. They said if the Federal Open Market Committee raises the interest rate this year, as anticipated, it would likely mean fewer jobs.

This week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast has a mid-Missouri flair to it – primarily because St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are welcoming state Sen. Mike Kehoe to the show.

Mike McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 28, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

The Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson changed everything.

Save Our Sons, Urban League, Mike McMillan
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis has launched a job training and placement program in north St. Louis County called Save Our Sons. The effort is getting serious corporate support — and a dash of Hollywood.

At a news conference Tuesday, Urban League CEO Michael McMillan announced $1.25 million in corporate donations toward the project:

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.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

While the gender wage gap has narrowed over the last 50 years, the improvement has not been significant, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

In Missouri, the median earnings for a woman working full-time is $32,000 while the median earnings for a man working full-time is $43,000, said lawyer Donna Harper, a partner at Sedey Harper P.C., which specializes in employment law.

“Women make about three-fourths of what men make when they’re both employed full time, at least in Missouri,” Harper told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis will no longer require job candidates to disclose previous felony convictions on their applications.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced the shift in hiring policy during a press conference at City Hall Tuesday.

“We’re really not changing our approach to who we hire. It’s just how we do it,” he said.

The change means potential employees will not have to check a box on their applications if they have a felony conviction.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis region received poor marks in a new report Wednesday that compares its levels of racial disparity and segregation to 34 similar metropolitan areas.

The report is an update to the East-West Gateway Council of Government's Where We Stand, which compiles data in order to measure the region on a yardstick with its peers across the country.

Image courtesy of St. Louis Community College

By 2022, employment in the STEM fields ― science, technology, engineering and math ― is projected to grow by 12.4 percent in the St. Louis region.

That’s compared to an expected growth of only 9.2 percent for non-STEM jobs.

Those are among the estimates provided in the sixth annual State of the St. Louis Workforce Report, released this week by the St. Louis Community College.

(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.

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 – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are highlighting their differences when it comes to extending unemployment benefits to millions of out-of-work Americans.

On Wednesday, the two held dueling tele-conferences with reporters in which Blunt make clear his opposition and McCaskill underscored her support. 

(via Flickr / _J_D_R_)

Missouri businesses will have to shell out more money for unemployment taxes next year in order to pay down debt the state owes to the federal government.

Missouri began borrowing federal dollars in 2008 to pay for jobless benefits after an economic downturn drained the state's unemployment benefits trust fund.  Brendan Cossette with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that led to the feds levying a surcharge on Missouri businesses to repay the borrowed money.

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

A new report says Missouri's unemployment rate edged higher last month, while the state gained 6,200 payroll jobs.

The state Department of Economic Development said Tuesday that the August jobless rate was 7.2 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from July.

The report says the biggest increase in jobs was in the government sector. It added 5,700 jobs - including 5,000 for local governments. The agency attributes the gains to the early start to the school year.

The education and health services sector added 1,800 jobs.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The former executive director of the now-shuttered GO! Network says she will find a way to launch a new organization to assist St. Louisans with their career transitions.

“I’m not finished with this. There’s too much work to be done,’’ said Roni Chambers after the nonprofit held its last weekly session on Aug. 27 at the St. Patrick Center downtown, where it had met since 2009.

(via Flickr/Georgia National Guard)

New jobs await veterans and their spouses Tuesday. Over one hundred employers will meet with veterans and their spouses during a job fair at America’s Center

in downtown St. Louis.

The fair is a part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s small business conference for veterans, which lasts until Thursday.

The Hiring Our Heroes fair begins with an 8 a.m. workshop for mentoring, interview skills, resume help, and job search techniques.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Gov. Jay Nixon used his veto pen more than ever this year. But he wants legislators to know he didn't do it to hurt their feelings.

Gov. Jay Nixon responds to a question about his pace of vetoing legislation at a bill signing in St. Louis.

via Flickr/KellyB.

The unemployment rate in the St. Louis area remained slightly below the national average in May, but a local economics professor says the story behind that number isn’t good news.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the non-adjusted data today. That means it does not take into account predictable seasonal changes.

The 7 percent unemployment rate for the St. Louis area is an improvement from May 2012, and far below the peak unemployment rate of 10.4 percent in 2009.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The topic was career transitions on this Tuesday morning in a conference room in downtown St. Louis, where 50 or so business professionals were listening intently to a panel of local human resources managers. There were nuggets to be gleaned, to be noted in memo pads.

  • Say yes to LinkedIn.
  • Think global and mobile.
  • Don’t limit job searches to online jobs boards; networking is key.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As deep as the recession that ended in 2009 was, history suggests the recovery should not be limping along as it is.  This weakness is not without explanation. You’ve heard that recessions coupled with financial crisis engender prolonged, shallow recoveries. And many of those unemployed during the downturn have not or cannot find work.

Or is this slower pace of economic activity, this unemployment rate staying above 7 percent, the new normal?

via Flickr/KellyB.

Missouri’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in four years.

November’s jobless rate is at 6.7 percent, down from 6.9 percent in October.  At the same time, though, the state lost 6,800 non-farm jobs last month.  John Fougere is with the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

“There’ll be blips from time to time, but we never focus on any one month of data when it comes to the number of jobs gained or lost, but instead the overall trend," Fougere said.  "Right now the overall trend of Missouri’s economy appears to be positive.”

NPR's Planet Money team comes through again with a visual breakdown of the jobs numbers. Explore it all via the link.

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

Illinois' unemployment rate dipped to 8.8 percent in September.

That's down from a rate of 9.1 percent in August. And the Illinois Department of Employment Security says the seasonally adjusted figures reported Thursday show Illinois' unemployment rate has fallen 10 times in the past 13 months.

IDES says Illinois added 13,800 jobs in September, and Director Jay Rowell calls the news "encouraging because it reinforces the trend of continued job growth."

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: