JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin is tops in the State of Missouri right now, when it comes to job growth.

Missouri sits at just 0.7% below its pre-pandemic job level — which ranks above the national average of 1.4%. Joplin leads all cities in the state, with a 2.8% increase in job growth through the first quarter of this year.

A number of factors have helped — including geography, retail and transportation options — and the City’s large base of food and beverage manufacturing.

“We’re a place people want to live now. They’re leaving the big cities and there coming to the mid-size cities that have a lot of the amenities that the big cities do. But still have that small-town feel that people like to raise their children here,” said Amy Kauffman-Business Development MOKAN Economic Partnership.

The findings come from an economic firm that conducts research for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.