According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated population of Missouri is 6,044,171, which is a 0.9 percent increase from the state's population during the 2010 census. Although the farming industry accounts for many jobs in the state, the Missouri Department of Economic Development reports that five of the top industries in the state are life sciences, transportation and logistics, information technology, financial services, and energy.
Top Missouri industries and employers
- Life sciences: Thanks to the state's robust cropland, growing research and development efforts, and plant genomics funding, the life sciences industry is growing around Missouri. The largest parts of this field are the plant science and technology, animal health and nutrition, and pharmaceutical and human health sectors. The largest life science companies in the state include Monsanto, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Tripos International and Sigma-Aldrich.
- Transportation and logistics: Missouri's large infrastructure has made the state the hub of the transportation industry in the United States, with 517,000 people employed in the trade, transportation and utilities sector as of September 2014. Some of the major companies in the state for transportation and logistics include CenterPoint Properties, Tri-State Motor Transit Co. and United Van Lines.
- Information technology: As of May 2013, 74,310 workers were employed in the computer industry in Missouri. The state's major employers in this sector include companies such as Jack Henry and Associates, AT&T, 3M, Boeing and Emerson.
- Financial services: The BLS reports that of September 2014, the financial services industry accounted for 168,400 jobs around the state, especially in the investment and financing sectors. Missouri's largest companies in this profession include Citicorp Mortgage, H&R Block, Stifel Financial Corp., Wachovia Securities, and Centene Corporation.
- Energy: The energy industry in Missouri is highly competitive, which has led to relatively low energy bills and numerous job prospects. The major employers in this sector include Empire Power, Peabody Energy, Laclede Gas, Empire Power, Mid-Missouri Energy and American Energy Producers.
Missouri job opportunities
Missouri's unemployment rate is showing a slow-but-steady decline, and several Missouri cities are seeing job growth, but some places in the state have more opportunities than others. According to NerdWallet, the following Missouri cities are among the best for those looking for employment.
- Wentzville: For those in central Missouri, this city is a great place to look for a job, especially those who want to work for companies like General Motors, Serco and Crider Health Center.
- Lee's Summit: Lee's Summit, which is about 30 minutes away from Kansas City, has a low unemployment rate and is the home to organizations such as U.S. National Benefits Center and the Truman Medical Center.
- Columbia: Columbia's close proximity to St. Louis and Kansas City makes it a popular location for job seekers. The city's largest employer is the University of Missouri.
Missouri salary & wages
Below is a sample of the annual mean wages for jobs in Missouri as of May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Career||Total Employment||Annual Median Wage|
|Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks||3800||38330|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||3540||64330|
|Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents||3600||53890|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||5680||106150|
|Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations||16100||53780|
Those who wish to pursue a career in the major industries of Missouri may wish to research vocational, technical and trade schools in the state. Vocational programs in a variety of fields are available to help you reach your career goals.
Best Cities for Job Seekers in Missouri, NerdWallet, Accessed October 25, 2014, http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cities/economics/best-cities-job-seekers-missouri/
Energy, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Accessed October 25, 2014, http://www.cn.missouri.gov/keyIndustries/energy.htm
Financial Services, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Accessed October 25, 2014, http://www.cn.missouri.gov/keyIndustries/financial.htm
Information Technology, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Accessed October 25, 2014, http://www.cn.missouri.gov/keyIndustries/infotech.htm
Life Sciences, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Accessed October 25, 2014, http://www.cn.missouri.gov/keyIndustries/sciences.htm
May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Missouri, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, April 1, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mo.htm
Missouri, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economy at a Glance, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.mo.htm
Missouri, U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts, Accessed October 25, 2014, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/29000.html
Transportation and Logistics, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Accessed October 25, 2014, http://www.cn.missouri.gov/keyIndustries/trans.htm