Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Local jobs decline * The St. Louis area lost 4,800 jobs during April, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is now down about 900 jobs for the first four months of 2015. The area is 5,000 jobs, or 0.2 percent, ahead of its job total in April 2014. Employment nationally grew by 2.2 percent, during that 12-month period. The St. Louis area has been lagging behind U.S. job growth since mid-2011. St. Louis would have nearly 69,000 more jobs today if it had kept pace with the nation's growth rate. Instead, the region remains 40,200 jobs short of the employment peak it reached in January 2008, just as the recession was beginning. Sectors that showed job losses between April 2014 and April 2015 were state and local governments and the leisure and hospitality industry. Missouri lost 5,700 jobs statewide during April, the largest loss for any state except New York, which shed 14,700 jobs. Illinois added 4,800 jobs. The state's unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent in April from 5.6 percent in March, and Illinois' rate was flat at 6.0 percent. National unemployment was 5.4 percent in April; the BLS will update metro St. Louis' jobless rate next week.

Avian flu hits Post Holdings again * Post Holdings Inc. said a third company-owned chicken flock in Nebraska had tested positive for avian flu, bringing total affected egg supply to about 35 percent of commitments. The Brentwood-based company, best known for its breakfast cereals including Raisin Bran and Honey Bunches of Oats, said the financial impact from the latest outbreak was still being assessed. Post said earlier this month that avian flu constituted a "force majeure event" for its Michael Foods egg business; declaring force majeure means a company can get out of contract obligations due to an unpredictable event beyond its control. At the time, the company had said then that two of its flocks were tested positive for the virus; at the time, the flu affected about 25 percent of its egg supply commitments. …

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