Friday, July 24, 2009

Prosperity in St. Louis is a Myth

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 8:59 AM

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The headline above courtesy of National Public Radio, which reports that the average wage in St. Louis rose an incredible 56.8 percent between 2007 and 2008, from $962 to $1,508.

St. Louis' increase greatly exceeds the next-highest wage gain in the country last year that occurred in Clayton County, Georgia. Workers there saw their earnings rise a measly 9.9 percent by comparison, according to figures released recently by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

So what contributed to the huge earnings gains in St. Louis? And how come you and I don't feel any richer than we did in '07?

As NPR reports, St. Louis' earnings increase isn't anything to brag about. The radio outlet notes that our city's ranking in the survey is a "recession-induced aberration."

The bump came because several area companies, notably brewer Anheuser-Busch, downsized and offered thousands of laid-off workers a series of buyouts and severance packages.

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