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7 Key Facts on Missouri Industry

Posted by IndustrySelect on Monday, November 4, 2019


Researching your market is one of the most important steps you can take as a sales and marketing professional.

For those looking to do business with Missouri manufacturers, IndustrySelect’s database of 400,000 U.S. manufacturers contains a wealth of data to help users understand their market and zero in on a list of prospects.

Today we’re bringing you the latest data on Missouri’s industrial sector and sharing some essential insights provided to us by the state’s companies.

Here are seven things you should know about Missouri industry right now:

1. Missouri Manufacturers Are Thriving

Missouri is currently home to 6,826 manufacturers that employ 382,304, according to MNI, compiler of the industrial data that powers IndustrySelect. Missouri gained 2,061 over the past twelve months, representing a gain of about a half percent.

2. The Dairy Industry is Dragging Down Food Sector

Missouri is a major center for food processing. The industry ranks first in the state for industrial employment, accounting for 52,878 workers. Over the year, however, food processing jobs declined in the state, down 5.6%. The closure of Treehouse Brands in St. Louis played a part in declines, but several several closures were related to the state’s declining dairy industry. Missouri is home to a larger share of smaller dairy operations, which are more vulnerable to price shifts and market conditions than larger operations.

3. Metal Fabricating is Gaining Strength 

Meanwhile, Missouri’s metal fabricating industry was the clear winner over the year, with employment in that sector growing more than 3.4%. Employment in the metal fabricating industry has been expanding in the past year, with that 5.3% of metal fabricating companies reporting gains in employment and 3.1% reporting declines in employment.

This compares to 4.1% of manufacturers in all industries reporting employment gains and 3.2% reporting employment declines.

4. Missouri is Keeping Pace with U.S. Manufacturing Growth, Despite Auto Industry Woes

Missouri is a major center for auto manufacturing, making it all too vulnerable to the slowdown in the industry, as well as the recent UAW strike.

Despite this and other factors such as tariffs and a slowing global economy, the Show-Me State continues to show us jobs, with 1.2% of companies in IndustrySelect’s Missouri database reporting sales growth over the year, and 4% reporting employment growth. This is in keeping with the 1% sales growth and 4% job growth reported by U.S. manufacturers nationwide.

Other items, based on data available to IndustrySelect subscribers:

• 1.8% of Missouri manufactures are women-owned
• 0.5% are minority-owned
• 8.8% are publicly-owned companies
• 7.4% of industrial companies in Missouri are headquarters

5. Missouri's Small Cities are Thriving

MNI reports East Central Missouri is the state’s manufacturing center, accounting for 48% of workers. The Northwest accounts 26.6% of the state’s industrial jobs, while the Southwest is home to 18%. Northeast Missouri accounts for the fewest jobs, at 6.9%.

A number of smaller Missouri cities reported big job gains, as industrial companies continue to seek cheaper locales. Most notable was a 14% surge in industrial employment for the city of Springfield. Springfield currently ranks third in the state for manufacturing jobs, with a workforce numbering 19,544. Also adding jobs were the cities of Lebanon (+10.5%) Joplin (4.5%); St Joseph (+3.6%) and Columbia (+1.9%).

St. Louis held steady over the year and remains an industrial powerhouse, with 1,169 companies employing 74,975. Second-ranked Kansas City saw manufacturing jobs decline 2.3% over the past year and is currently home to 45,059 workers.

6. Missouri Manufacturers are Concerned By Tariffs

Missouri exports $14.2 billion worth of products through the world, so tariffs remain a concern for many of the state’s manufacturers. 10% of Missouri’s manufacturers import raw materials, while 21% distribute their products internationally.

Tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese-made goods has proved cumbersome to many Missouri manufacturers, impacting prices and disrupting supply chains. What’s more, uncertainty resulting from the trade war is making future projections difficult, which in turn may influence capital investment decisions.

The state boasts top-notch infrastructure, competitive labor costs, and a low cost of doing business. Recently, Missouri’s infrastructure was ranked 7th in the nation by CNBC, while its cost of doing business came in at 8th in the nation.

These factors have all contributed to a number of recent successes in the state, including a number of new plant announcements and expansions. These included the opening of Aurora Organic Dairy’s new facility in Columbia in June, and Nucor Steel’s announcement of its plans to establish a steel rebar plant in Sedalia. Meanwhile, Niagara Bottling announced its new 420,000 square-foot bottling plant, which will open in Kansas City.

7. These are Missouri's Largest Manufacturers

Missouri is home to a diverse set of industries. Major companies in the auto, pharmaceutical, software development, and aerospace are centered in the Show-Me state.

Here is a list of Missouri's top manufacturers, based on MNI data:

Boeing Co., The14,000St. LouisMO
Cerner Corp.10,000Kansas CityMO
Ford Motor Co., Kansas City Assembly7,000Kansas CityMO
Express Scripts Holding Company5,500St. LouisMO
Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, Inc.4,000St. LouisMO
Hallmark Cards, Inc.3,100Kansas CityMO
Honeywell Federal Mfg. & Technologies, LLC3,000Kansas CityMO
Triumph Foods, LLC2,900St. JosephMO
Nestle' Purina PetCare Co.2,500St. LouisMO
Bass Pro Group, LLC2,000SpringfieldMO
Bayer CropScience L. P.2,000St. LouisMO
MilliporeSigma2,000St. LouisMO
Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, Inc.1,981IndependenceMO
Tyson Foods, Inc.1,700SedaliaMO


Despite the slowdown in the auto industry and uncertainty surrounding tariffs, Missouri manufacturers continue to thrive, aided by low business and labor costs as well as solid infrastructure. Many industrial companies in Missouri are hiring, providing opportunities for staffing agencies, HR services and insurance companies, just to name a few.

IndustrySelect recorded growth across a spectrum of industries, but metal fabricating is a fast-expanding industry for the state. Job growth has leveled off in St. Louis and Kansas City, but some of Missouri’s small cities are seeing rapid growth, representing new opportunities in these fast-growing regions.

A large share of Missouri manufacturers are major exporters, while many import raw materials for the manufacture of goods. Tariffs present a set of challenges to Missouri manufacturers as a result and may impact investment decisions.

Ready to Build a List of Missouri Manufacturers?

Looking to reach out to Missouri manufacturers? An IndustrySelect subscription can put you on a first-name basis with Missouri’s 7,200 industrial companies and 23,000 executives. Subscribers can select up to 30 data points on any manufacturing company in the U.S. to help identify or pre-qualify leads. Company profiles also include the contact information for hard-to-find executive decision-makers. Try a free demo today!


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