(Photo by Jill Bock, Staff)
Bruce R. Domazlicky, professor of the Department of Economics at Southeast Missouri State University at Cape Girardeau, shared that news with members of the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce during their monthly luncheon Thursday.
The good news for Sikeston and Scott County is that unemployment is lower than the national average, Domazlicky said. The unemployment rate is 4.8 percent in Scott County, lower than the 6 percent average nationwide.
Also the county is one of the few in the area to see growth in its population, however it was at a smaller rate the state's growth.
According to Domazlicky, the county's per capita income is $23,000. With retail sales of about $300 million in the county, there is an average of $7,421 spent per person annually in local retail business, which is a at lower rate than national figures indicate per average consumer.
"This shows you have some sales tax leakage," said Domazlicky. He attributed this to the fact that Sikeston crosses two counties and also Cape Girardeau attracts shoppers from Scott County.
"Scott County is one of the better off counties in the area," added Domazlicky and in particular Sikeston, which shows a higher median income and education level than surrounding areas.
On the national level, the university professor noted more of the ups and downs: Interest rates are low but unemployment high; the gross national product growth is slow yet inflation is low.
"The government deficit is getting out of control," noted Domazlicky, calling this "worrisome."
However he is encouraged about the future of the nation's economic growth, predicting interest rates and the inflation rate will remain low and the housing market will stay strong. Also he foresees a recovery in consumer spending and for industrial production to increase.
Missy Marshall, executive director of the SACC, noted several upcoming events, including:
* The Kow Pasture Klassic, sponsored by Schindler's Tavern at Benton, will be Saturday. Part of the proceeds from the event will go to the Kenny Rogers Children's Center in Sikeston.
* May 1 is the American Legion Fish Fry to benefit the Southeast Missouri YMCA.
* Local residents are encouraged to attend the public meeting for the I-66 corridor set for 5 to 7 p.m. May 6. Under discussion will be the location of a Mississippi River bridge. Marshall noted the proposal to bring the route through Mississippi County would benefit the local area, however there is another proposal to bring I-66 through Cape Girardeau.
* The next Chamber meeting will be May 22 at the Malone Street Grill.
* On May 26, the community's Memorial Day Service is scheduled. The featured speaker will be retired Lt. Col. Orson Swindle.
* Springfest, a major fund-raiser for the SACC, is May 27-31. Tuesday and Thursday night will be wristband nights, providing a discount for carnival-goers.