Jacology: Bad Decade

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(KPLR) - The future belongs to the young and the educated. By that standard, the 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois that make up the St. Louis metropolitan area may not have much of a future. The numbers tell the story we're becoming older, less educated and poorer. And while this has been going on for a while, the pace is accelerating fast.

You know just by looking around that there are fewer jobs here than there were before the recession. Major corporations have sold out or left the area. And the St. Louis area's conservative culture hasn't encouraged risk takers or entrepreneurs. And the St. Louis area has failed to attract enough skilled foreign immigrants. The results are pretty much what you'd expect.

The census bureau reports than in the metro's largest jurisdiction, St. Louis County the median household income dropped by seven thousand dollars between 2000 and 2010. So, we have less money than we used to. The region is poorer. On top of that, federal figures show the size of the workforce in the metro area has been shrinking for six years.

The work force is defined as everybody over age 16 who's either working or is looking for work. When the workforce shrinks it means people of working age are leaving the region looking for jobs elsewhere. That means the average age in the region is climbing. The census bureau reports those who are leaving are being replaced with people who have lower incomes and less education.

So, fewer jobs. Less money. Less education. An aging population. It's been a bad decade for the St. Louis metro area. You just wonder why local leaders aren't more concerned.

I’m Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.