Population and Labor Force
The population of St. Francois County has grown consistently during the past 40 years as the County made the transition from an economy largely dependent on mining and agriculture to a much broader and more diverse economic base. During the period from 1960 to 2000, the population of the County increased over 36%, with much of the growth concentrated in the County’s incorporated communities. The County’s population grew 13.8% during the decade from 1990 to 2000, increasing from 48,904 in 1990, to 55,641 in 2000.
From a business perspective it is important to note that a significant segment of the County’s population (51.5%) is in the very productive 18-54 year age group. Children in the 0-17 year age group make up another 23.9% of the County’s population, assuring a work force for the future.
Over 61% of the population of St. Francois County reside in the County’s eight incorporated communities as indicated in the table below. The City of Desloge grew 15.7% during the last decade, while the City of Farmington, which is also the County seat, posted a 20.1% increase.
Populations of Incorporated Communities in St. Francois County, 2000
|Bismarck||1,470||Iron Mountain Lake||693|
As the population of St. Francois County has increased, so also has the size of the County’s labor force. During the period from 1991 to 2001, the County’s labor force grew from 22,181 to 23,312, an increase of 4.9%. At the same time, the County’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.0% in 1991 to 6.7% in 2001.
The rich mining heritage of St. Francois County is still reflected in the "day's work for a day's pay" attitude of the County’s workforce. Industries and businesses locating in the County will find an average available work force of about 5,100 people in St. Francois County. Encompassing surrounding counties, this available work force is increased to over 9,000 people. More important, this labor force represents experienced workers who have training in a wide variety of skills and occupations. Listed in the table below are the occupational backgrounds of people seeking employment through the Missouri Division of Employment Security in November, 2002.
Occupations of Job Applicants
St. Francois County - November, 2002
|Professional, Technical and Managerial||785|
|Clerical and Sales||1,100|
|Agricultural, Fishery, Forestry and Related Occupations||55|
|Source: Missouri Department of Economic Development|
For purposes of comparison with other areas, listed below are wage rates for a group of selected occupations in the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Southeast Region, which includes St. Francois County. Wage rates for a comprehensive listing of occupations is available at greathires.org
Wage Rates in Selected Occupations
|Accountants and Auditors||10.37||14.72||17.43|
|All Other Assemblers, Fabricators||6.49||7.67||8.66|
|Billing, Costs and Rate Clerks||7.47||8.93||10.02|
|Bookkeeping and Account and Auditing||6.90||8.90||10.41|
|Civil Engineering Technicians||12.78||15.11||14.15|
|Civil Engineers, including Traffic||18.92||22.55||26.34|
|Communication, Transp. Utility Manager||15.94||18.65||20.61|
|Custom Tailors and Sewers||6.20||7.10||8.06|
|Data Base Administrators||11.62||20.21||22.46|
|Data Entry Keyers, ex. Composing||6.85||7.54||8.23|
|Electrical and Electronic Engineer||17.10||24.36||33.86|
|Electrical and Electronic Technician||12.87||17.70||22.35|
|First Line Supervisor, Production||11.28||16.24||19.66|
|First Line Supervisor, Transportation||10.41||14.15||17.30|
|First Line Supervisor, Sales||8.99||13.34||16.14|
|First Line Supervisors, Clerical||9.23||12.78||14.71|
|General Managers and Top Executives||13.75||24.81||35.91|
|General Office Clerks||6.07||7.67||8.58|
|Industrial Engineers, Exc. Safety||17.10||22.26||24.65|
|Industrial Machinery Mechanics||11.31||13.49||15.53|
|Industrial Production Managers||14.09||21.40||25.12|
|Industrial Truck and Tractor Operator||7.65||10.89||12.41|
|Inspectors and Compliance Officers||11.36||14.80||15.62|
|Inspectors, Tester, Graders, Precision||7.52||11.20||14.52|
|Lathe, Turning Machine Setter/Op. M/P||7.16||8.30||9.30|
|Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations Mgr.||14.04||22.84||27.23|
|Order Clerks: Materials, Service||7.23||8.76||9.89|
|Order Filers, Sales||10.90||12.13||13.59|
|Personnel Clerks, Exc. Payroll||8.18||10.25||12.17|
|Production Inspectors, Graders||6.86||8.86||10.67|
|Production, Expediting Clerks||7.34||10.68||12.64|
|Sheet Metal Workers||8.75||12.64||16.09|
|Tool and Die Makers||11.63||16.64||22.38|
|Traffic, Shipping and Receiving Clerks||7.61||11.47||15.25|
|Truck Drivers, Heavy||9.77||12.81||15.44|
|Typists and Word Processors||6.80||8.56||9.96|
|Welders and Cutters||8.05||9.95||11.50|
|Source: Missouri Department of Economic Development, Occupational Survey, 1998-1999.|
Educational levels of job applicants from St. Francois County also tend to be high. Of the St. Francois County residents currently seeking employment through the Missouri Division of Employment Security, 63.8% have earned their high school diploma or GED, 6.8% have completed one year of college, 7.1% have completed two years of college, 1.5% have completed three years of college, 3.2% hold BA/BS degrees, 0.6% hold Masters degrees and 0.1% have completed their doctorate.
Top quality educational systems are in place and available in St. Francois County to provide education and training in virtually any area an employer could require. In-plant job training programs are also available to facilitate rapid training and retraining of workers to meet new job demands.