A university economist is casting doubt on whether Missouri's job-creation incentives actually result in more jobs.
Economist Howard Wall of Lindenwood University testified Monday before the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee about the effectiveness of the Missouri Quality Jobs program. The initiative offers tax breaks to businesses that add jobs with good wages and health benefits.
The latest Department of Economic Development report shows there were almost 18,000 new jobs in Missouri in August. The manufacturing industry added the most jobs with an increase of nearly 5,000 new positions.
Missouri Department of Economic Development spokesperson John Fougere says Missouri’s progress in job creation continues to grow following a big drop during the recession.
A city of Columbia's effort to classify certain neighborhoods as blighted to help businesses secure tax credits continues to draw fire from local activists.
The "blight" label is required by the state Department of Economic Development to create Enhanced Enterprise Zones. The zones are distinct areas where businesses can receive tax breaks in return for adding new facilities or jobs.
Opponents say the label will lower property values and could make it easier for local government to seize property under eminent domain laws.
Missouri added about 6,000 jobs in April as its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down slightly.
Figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Economic Development also show that Missouri added more jobs in March than originally thought. The March job growth was revised upward from 4,800 to 6,800 new jobs.
Missouri's unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point in April to 7.3 percent. The department said that is the lowest level in 40 months.
The national unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in April.