St. Joseph Named Seventh Fastest-Growing Economy in the U.S.

USA Today reported rankings on the Top 10 Fastest-Growing Economies on Feb. 1 and St. Joseph ranked seventh on that list.

The article said that St. Joseph’s economy grew by almost 10 percent in 2012 and that while it failed to grow at the same pace in 2013, the unemployment rate is well below
national and state unemployment figures. In November 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, St. Joseph’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, while the Missouri and U.S. rates were 6.1 percent and 7 percent respectively.

St. Joseph is a major center for agricultural sciences and animal health businesses. Many of the other cities on the list are tied strongly to energy development, including Midland, Texas; Odessa, Texas; Pascagoula, Miss.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Fargo, N.D. and Bismarck, N.D. (ranked 1-6, with Midland being the fastest-growing economy).

The article stated that many local economies rely on one production or trade sector, and when that sector starts to fail, it causes a major problem for the local economy.

“The way that St. Joseph differs itself from the other fast-growing economies is that we aren’t tied strongly to just one industry,” said R. Patt Lilly, President and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. “While we are very proud to be a leader in the Animal Health Corridor, we also are fortunate to have a broad manufacturing sector in St. Joseph.”

Some of the top employers that are manufacturers in St. Joseph without an animal health tie include Triumph Foods, Altec Industries, Hillshire Brands, WireCo WorldGroup, Gray Manufacturing and Johnson Controls. Animal health employers include Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., Bayer HealthCare LLC, Nestle Purina PetCare, Ameri-Pac, AgriLabs, Clipper Distributing and more.

The rankings are based on the Conference of Mayors’ most recent economic report, produced in conjunction with forecasting company IHS Global Insight. This new ranking for St. Joseph comes on the heels of St. Joseph being named fourth in the nation for real gross domestic product growth by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis late last year.

“The USA Today report is another reminder just how well St. Joseph is really doing economically,” Mr. Lilly said. “You don’t see other Missouri cities on these lists. We should recognize these rankings as a reflection of all of the good work happening in our community.”

To see the article, please visit: USA Today article