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Economy of St facts for kids

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The economy of St. Louis, Missouri has a diversified variety of sectors, both historically and currently.

Sectors and employment

The 2011 Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) of St. Louis was $133.1 billion. That makes St. Louis the 21st highest GMP in the United States. According to the 2007 Economic Census, manufacturing in the city conducted nearly $11 billion in business, followed by the healthcare and social service industry with $3.5 billion, professional or technical services with $3.1 billion, and the retail trade with $2.5 billion. The sector employing the largest number of workers in the city was the healthcare sector with 34,000 workers, followed by administrative and support jobs with 24,000 workers, manufacturing with 21,000 workers, and food service with 20,000 workers. As of July 2013, the city of St. Louis had 143,147 workers in its labor force with 127,687 employed, 15,460 unemployed, and an unemployment rate of 10.8 percent.

Unemployment in May 2014 fell 0.1% to 7.2%, nearly one percent above the national rate of 6.3% in that month.

The Swedish furniture retailer IKEA, opened a 21 acres (8.5 hectares) complex in the Central West End including a 380,000 square feet (8.7 acres) store that added approximately 300 jobs in Fall 2015. The company opened its new store on September 30, 2015.

The Mississippi River and Missouri River in St. Louis play a large role in moving goods, especially bulk commodities such as grain, coal, salt, and certain chemicals and petroleum products. The Port of St. Louis in 2004 was the third-largest inland port by tonnage in the country, and the 21st-largest of any sort. St. Louis is also the nation's third-largest railroad hub, moving everything from fertilizer, gravel, crushed stone, prepared foodstuffs, fats, oils, nonmetallic mineral products, grain, alcohol, and tobacco products to motorized vehicles and parts.

Health services and biomedical

Among St. Louis city healthcare employers is BJC HealthCare, which operates both Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital in the city. BJC also cooperates with Washington University School of Medicine, a center of medical research that is adjacent to Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Other major employers in the city include the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Saint Louis University Hospital, another medical research facility and hospital, and Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. St. Louis is also home to two companies that produce radiation therapy planning software, CMS, Inc. and Multidata Systems International.


As of 2013, the St. Louis area is home to nine Fortune 500 companies: Express Scripts, Emerson Electric, Monsanto, Reinsurance Group of America, Centene, Peabody Energy, Ameren, Graybar Electric, and Edward Jones Investments.

Other companies include:

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