Missouri Manufacturing Sees Job, Wage Growth

Missouri’s economy is expanding as the state’s manufacturing sector adds more jobs and increases wages, according to Creighton University’s Mid-America Business Conditions Survey.

The state is in an expansionary economy, with Missouri’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for May increasing to 51.2, up 1.7 points from April’s survey.

According to the Midwest economists, a score greater than 50 indicates a growing economy while ratings below 50 predict a sluggish economy.

Components of the overall index from the survey of supply managers for May included new orders at 53.0 points; production or sales at 51.2 points; delivery lead time at 41.1 points; inventories at 58.5 points; and employment at 52.2.

According to the survey, manufacturing employment in Missouri has expanded by 4.3 percent over the past year, while manufacturing hourly wages climbed by 6.8 percent over the same time period.

The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group has conducted the monthly survey of supply managers in nine states since 1994 to produce leading economic indicators of the Mid-America economy, from data on new orders, production, supplier delivery times, production delays, backlogs, inventories, prices, employment, import orders, and exports.

States included in the survey are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

“After flashing recession warning signals between November 2022 and January 2023, Creighton’s monthly survey of manufacturing supply managers over the past several months is now pointing to positive but slow growth with somewhat lower inflationary pressures at the wholesale level,” Ernie Goss, economics professor and director of Creighton University’s Economic Forecasting Group, said in a statement.

“Results from Creighton’s surveys over the last several months are somewhat promising on the growth and inflation fronts,” he added.

The regional hiring gauge remained in the slow-growth range for a fourth straight month, the survey found, with a reading of 52.3 – up slightly from April’s 52.2.

Manufacturing employment in the Midwest region expanded by 2.5 percent over the past 12 months while manufacturing average hourly wages in the region climbed by 5.7 percent over the same time period, the survey said.

“Employment growth and levels remain solid due to manufacturers’ labor hoarding. That is, manufacturers in the region are maintaining employment levels due to a fear of an inability to hire back once business activity levels pick up,” said Goss.