Employment sector reports reveal valuable information about our local economy.
The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center recently released the most up to date employment statistics giving us a snapshot of where we stood at the end of 2017. It is not too surprising Cape Girardeau County has larger percentage of employees in certain sectors than the State of Missouri average. As a regional hub, we have higher than average employment numbers in several key categories including retail, accommodations and restaurants, and health care while maintaining the state average in manufacturing. But I’d like to focus on one of these areas: health care.
An average of 17% of the Missouri workforce is employed in the health care and social assistance sector compared to 27% of the Cape County workforce. Glass half empty people will sound the alarm saying we are over-invested in one area of the economy while glass half full people will remind us of the higher wages and likelihood of growth in this sector for some time to come. Total wages for 2017 were more than $456 million dollars with an average weekly wage of $935. More than 550 firms or professionals employ people in this sector.
Regardless of viewpoint, we know the health care sector employs more people in Cape County than any other and pays way above county average wages. This certainly makes it one of our leading economic engines.