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January 1984, 
Vol. 66, No. 1
Posted 1984-01-01

Employment Trends in St. Louis: 1954-82

by G.J. Santoni

G. J. Santoni describes the current employment distribution in the St. Louis labor market, compares longer-run growth in St. Louis employment with other similarly sized metropolitan areas and the nation, and assesses the recent growth in St. Louis employment in terms of these longer-run trends. Santoni finds that, while the current employment mix in St. Louis is similar to that in the rest of the nation, the growth rate of local employment has been significantly lower than the nation’s growth rate since 1954. Further, the slower growth in St. Louis employment is common to both the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors. Santoni points out that it does not appear that recessions have a differentially severe effect on the local labor market, when St. Louis’ lower average employment growth rate is taken into account. In addition, the slow growth in St. Louis employment was not unusually aggravated by the substantial reductions in the work forces of the various auto manufacturing plants located in the St. Louis area in recent years. Finally, relatively slow growth in employment is not unique to St. Louis; other comparably sized and geographically located cities display the same pattern.