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In 1997, the value of shipments for manufactured goods in Missouri was $96 billion. St. Louis County, the city of St. Louis, and Jackson County (Kansas City) led the state in manufacturing employment. McDonnell Douglas has its headquarters in St. Louis; its aerospace products have included all the Mercury capsules and Gemini space capsules, the DC-9 and DC-10 commercial jet aircraft, and the Tomahawk cruise missile. As of 1997, the state was the headquarters for 14 Fortune 500 companies.

Earnings of persons employed in Missouri increased from $94.9 billion in 1997 to $99.2 billion in 1998, an increase of 4.6%. The largest industries in 1998 were services, 26.5% of earnings; durable goods manufacturing, 11.0%; and state and local government, 10.0%. Of the industries that accounted for at least 5% of earnings in 1998, the slowest growing from 1997 to 1998 was retail trade (9.3% of earnings in 1998), which increased 4.3%; the fastest was finance, insurance, and real estate (7.3% of earnings in 1998), which increased 7.7%.