What is this site for?
This site is a one-stop shop for the best and most-recent estimates of employment and unemployment for the 16-county St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area. The site is maintained by the Institute for the Study of Economics and the Environment (ISEE) at Lindenwood University, and is part of the ISEE's Data-Usefulness Project. The purpose of the project is to provide useful and reliable data on the economy of the St. Louis MSA.
The need for this project arises from the unfortunate fact that official employment and unemployment estimates produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are not usually useful or reliable. First, they are rarely adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations, meaning that they will tend to give false impressions of the month-to-month changes in the health of the economy. And, second, they are often not particularly accurate. Follow the "Data Reliability" tab above to see the ISEE's assessment of the various data series produced by the BLS for the St. Louis MSA.
The new ISEE series, which is explained in detail here, has been tested with vintage data and has been shown to reduce the error in the BLS estimates by 80 percent or more for many months.
In the future, the ISEE will provide additional data for the St. Louis MSA that is disaggregated by industry and county.