Joplin named one of many cities leading Missouri job recovery

Missouri has recovered 95 percent of jobs lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent quarterly economic report from the Missouri Chamber.

The report says Joplin is one of few cities leading job recovery in the state.

KOAM Reporter Bronte Sorotsky is speaking with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce today. She’ll be discussing the City’s job growth and how it impacts the city.

You can watch the story tonight on KOAM News at 5 and 6 and on KOAM News on FOX14 at 9.

Joplin, Mo.–The pandemic caused economic hardship for many. While some places were able to bounce back quickly, others haven’t been as lucky. 

A recent report from the Missouri chamber shows the state has recovered more than 95 percent of jobs lost since the pandemic began. One of the cities leading that recovery is Joplin. Erin Slifka, public information manager for the Joplin Chamber says Joplin has really made a comeback since the pandemic.

“We have seen tremendous growth in our area and have fully recovered from the pandemic and are back up to our pre-pandemic numbers and are excited to be the community that’s leading this state,” Slifka said. 

Joplin’s unemployment rate is currently down to just 2.35 percent. Slifka credits part of that to the city’s expanding interest from outside areas.

“We have a pretty low unemployment rate, but we’re seeing an expansion with existing industries, and interest as far as from outside areas wanting to expand their businesses in the Joplin market.”

Red Collar Pet Foods, a Joplin and Miami, Oklahoma manufacturer is looking to bring down that unemployment rate even more, And they’re doing so with the help of the Joplin Humane Society. 

“We are shooting to fill 45 positions between our Joplin site and also our Miami, Oklahoma site, ranging from entry-level production positions all the way up to skilled, skilled labor positions”, said Kaci Berrey, HR Business Partner for Red Collar Pet Foods. “For every offer of employment that we have, we will be sponsoring an adoption here at the Joplin Humane Society.”

That sponsorship, while acting as a hiring incentive, will then help a pet get adopted. 

“I think that we have had an issue with getting pets out, getting pets adopted,” said Thomas Jay, Animal Behavior Manager for the Humane Society. “That’s not just us. It’s all these shelters in the area. They’ve seen a decrease in adoptions. So we’re really trying our hardest to get these animals out into loving forever homes.”

Berrey says there will soon be even more opportunities for job growth in the area.

“We actually have a hiring event scheduled for May 12th at the Park Hill Dog Park. We actually sponsored the park last summer and did some renovations. So we wanted to kick off this event with the hiring of it at Park Hill.”

Slifka says Joplin’s low unemployment rate only shows that Joplin’s job growth has only increased following pandemic lows, and continues to do so.

Other Missouri cities leading job recovery in the state include Springfield and Colombia.

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