Jefferson City: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

The major business in Jefferson City is government, which provides more than 28,000 local jobs; nearly 17,000 of these jobs are for the Missouri state government. Much of the state government business is carried on in the city, home of the Missouri Legislature, Missouri Supreme Court, and many offices that house the different state departments.

Jefferson City also serves as a trading center for the agricultural produce grown in the area. The main cash crops raised are corn, wheat, and soybeans. Between 1997 and 2002, the number of farms in the county decreased by 6 percent, from 1,162 farms to 1,098; however, the size of farms increased by 4 percent, from 162 acres to 169 acres.

More than 20 different industries make up the economic base of Jefferson City, including the manufacture of electric appliances, book binding, shoemaking, and steel fabrication. Per capita personal income in the county increased by 51.7 percent from 1991 to 2001, and the city has one of the lowest costs of living in the state; these factors, plus an increase in visitors to Jefferson City, have boosted local retail in recent years.

Items and goods produced: structural steel products, heat transfer equipment, books, cosmetics, automotive seating, radiators, washer parts

Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies

Business incentive and economic programs are administered at the state level to Jefferson City businesses.

State programs

The state of Missouri offers numerous major tax exemptions, abatements, and credits for qualifying businesses. They include exemptions involving the purchase of new machinery and equipment; tax credits to small businesses; property tax abatement and state tax credit for property in a "blighted area"; and tax credits for vineyards and wine producers, and for film production companies. The Missouri Department of Economic Development and other agencies offer business finance programs.

Job training programs

The Missouri Training and Employment Council, a division of the state of Missouri, works with local, regional, and state businesses to create programs that help hire and train employees, such as career centers and educational systems. The Jefferson/Franklin Consortium Career Center acts as a "one-stop shop" for both employers and prospective employees. The Missouri Community College New Jobs Training Program offers assistance to companies expanding or relocating to Missouri and creating substantial new jobs; the program assists with employee training costs.

Economic Development Information: Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce, 213 Adams St., Jefferson City, MO 65101; telephone (573)634-3616; fax (573)634-3805. Missouri Department of Economic Development, 301 W. High Street, Jefferson City, MO 65102; telephone: (573)751-4962; fax (573)526-7700; email

Commercial Shipping

The Union Pacific Railroad provides rail freight service. Several motor freight carriers serve the city. Barge lines ship cargo through Jefferson City via the Missouri River.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

The labor force of Jefferson City is technologically competent. That, combined with the cooperation among city, state, and county governmental offices, the school district, chamber of commerce, public utilities, and industries, has helped to make this small metropolitan area among the fastest growing in the state. The city continues to attract new businesses and new jobs are being created. A 2004 study shows that job prospects in Cole County and surrounding counties are the best in the state; prospects are especially strong in the categories of durable goods manufacturing, transportation/public utilities and services.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Jefferson City labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 78,400

Number of workers employed in . . .

trade, transportation and utilities: 13,800

government: 28,800

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: Not reported

Unemployment rate: 5.1% (February 2005)

Jefferson City: Economy

Jefferson City: Economy

Largest employers Number of employees
Missouri State Government 16,864
Scholastic, Inc. more than 1,000
Capital Region Medical Center more than 1,000
St. Mary's Health Center more than 1,000
Jefferson City Public Schools more than 1,000
ABB Power T&C Company 500 to 999
Von Hoffman Press 500 to 999
UNILEVER Home & Personal Care, USA 500 to 999
Wal-Mart Super Center 500 to 999

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Jefferson City area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $207,800

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 91.7 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: 1.5% to 6.0%

State sales tax rate: 4.225%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 2.0% (1.5% city; 0.5% county)

Property tax rate: $.72 per $100 assessed valuation

Economic Information: Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce, 213 Adams St., Jefferson City, MO 65101; telephone (573)634-3616