As in the nation, the Eighth Federal Reserve District’s main trading partners are Canada, Mexico, China and the European Union. What is imported and exported, however, can vary significantly.
The Eighth District added about 150,000 jobs from 2010 to 2013, almost 75 percent of them in low-paying industries. Such jobs are growing at a faster rate than those in high-paying industries, the opposite of what is happening on the national level.
Income inequality has increased in the St. Louis Fed's District over the past 30 years, although at a slower pace than in the nation as a whole. In both areas, the inequality is increasing primarily between the top-income earners and the middle-income earners.
A question often on people’s minds is whether the unemployment rate is capturing all the relevant information on the health of the labor market these days. Are any of the other standard indicators any better? What do indexes that measure labor market conditions tell us?