MERIC NEWS LETTER

Comparing Missouri's Cost of Labor
                       

Several indicators can be used to determine the cost of labor in a state, region, or country. Comparing Missouri to border states, the state fares favorably with a large labor force and high earnings for production workers.

With a labor force of over 3 million and total employment at 2.8 million, Missouri trailed only Illinois (6.6 million and 6.3 million) among border states in 2006.

The state ranked first among border states and ninth nationally for earnings of production workers at $17.43 per hour. Leading states in this indicator were Michigan ($21.50), Ohio ($19.07), and Connecticut ($18.96).

Other indicators compared to border states are value added per dollar of production worker (5th), percentage of workers who are union members (3rd), and unemployment rate (6th).

 

Labor Cost Indicators by Border State
LABOR CATEGORY AR IL IA KS KY MO NE OK TN
Value added per dollar of production worker wages, 2003 $5.19 $5.63 $6.36 $5.12 $5.21 $5.32 $5.16 $5.34 $5.52
Percentage of wage & salary workers who are union members, 2006 5.10% 16.40% 11.30% 8.00% 9.80% 10.90% 7.90% 6.40% 6.00%
Average unemployment insurance tax rate on taxable wages, 2005 2.60% 4.90% 1.60% 2.50% 2.70% 2.10% 2.30% 1.80% 2.40%
Comparative workers compensation rate per $100 of payroll for manufacturing, 2007 $2.37 $4.51 $3.39 $3.46 $4.41 $4.69 $3.94 $4.53 $4.58
Right-to-work state Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Average hourly earnings of production workers on manufacturing payrolls, 2005 $13.71 $15.84 $16.25 $17.14 $16.64 $17.43 $15.44 $14.65 $14.03
Civilian labor force, 2006 1,364,646 6,613,346 1,664,339 1,466,004 2,038,971 3,032,434 974,476 1,719,628 2,990,152
Annual average total employment, 2006 1,292,886 6,315,715 1,602,849 1,400,169 1,922,163 2,885,857 945,270 1,650,877 2,835,530
Annual average unemployment rate, 2006 5.30% 4.50% 3.70% 4.50% 5.70% 4.80% 3.00% 4.00% 5.20%
Total manufacturing employment, 2005 201,045 688,566 229,121 180,240 262,098 308,890 101,337 144,752 408,292
Annual average manufacturing earnings/hour, 2006 $16.45 $24.23 $20.71 $21.20 $21.17 $21.11 $17.58 $18.97 $20.60
Unemployment insurance new employer Entry Rate, 2006 3.70% 3.40% 1.00% 4.30% 2.70% 2.70% 2.50% 1.80% 2.70%
Unemployment insurance minimum rate, 2006 0.10% 0.30% 0.00% 0.10% 0.50% 0.00% 0.40% 0.20% 0.30%
Unemployment insurance maximum rate, 2006 10.00% 8.10% 8.00% 7.40% 9.50% 6.00% 6.80% 7.30% 10.00%

                  Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, MERIC’s Business Climate Comparison Tool, Nebraska Department of Economic Development
 
For labor indicators and other economic indicators for all 50 states, visit the Business Climate Comparison Tool on the MERIC website at:
http://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/bcc/index.stm

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