Working Missourians are the engines of our economy, supplying the products and services we all use in our daily lives. They harvest the food we eat, build the homes we live in, and pave the roads we drive on; they keep our communities safe, provide our families with state-of-the-art health care and quality education. It is through the labor of Missourians that we develop strong communities where opportunity is possible for everyone.
Missourians believe that when you work hard, you ought to be able to get ahead – to keep a roof over your head, put food on the table, and save a little for a rainy day. Unfortunately, millions of working Missourians know that despite their work, they’re still struggling to afford the basics and are just one paycheck away from crises.
The State of Working Missouri provides an overview of information on wages and employment to illustrate what’s happening in our state’s labor market and how our workers are faring. Overall, the data show that recent modest gains for workers are not sufficient to materially improve their lives. Moreover, many working families are struggling to make ends meet and are just one emergency away from financial disaster. The report also underscores that even when circumstances improve generally, Black and female workers continue to face tougher economic headwinds than their white and male counterparts.
We hope that this report can serve as a starting point to develop policy recommendations for building an economy that works for everyone.
Disaggregating Data by Race/Ethnicity: The COVID-19 pandemic revealed glaring racial and ethnic inequalities throughout Missouri’s health, economic, and social systems. While there is widespread evidence of access barriers to the labor market for Hispanic and Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, and Pacific Islander populations, detailed data for these populations is often publicly inaccessible. Additionally, due to their smaller sample sizes, estimates for these groups may be less reliable. This is noted throughout the report when applicable.
Acknowledgements: Missouri Budget Project is a member of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), a network affiliated with the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a nonpartisan public policy think tank that centers the needs of low- and middle-wage workers in economic policy discussions. Missouri Budget Project has produced the State of Working Missouri report using data and research from EPI and EARN, as well as other sources, and we appreciate their support. Additionally, we thank Missouri Jobs with Justice for their valuable advice, solicitation of worker input, and collaboration on this report.
Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Wages
Page 3: A Spotlight on Care Workers
Page 4: Jobs & Unemployment
Page 5: Conclusion