Report shows positive trends in area economy

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JOPLIN, Mo. — A new report detailing the economic outlook in the Midwest points to some improvement in trends in August.

Harold Berger, Pearl Bros., said, “It’s some of the stuff is amazing – you put it on the shelf and it’s gone before you can put it out.

2020 has been an unusual year for Pearl Brothers True Value Hardware.

“We were an essential business and able to stay open during the stay at home order.”

They’ve sold a lot of cleaning supplies – doing well at a time that’s been tough for other businesses. A recent Midwest economic outlook report from Creighton University shows job losses of more than seven percent since the onset of covid-19.

Tony Robyn, MO-KAN Economic Development Partnership Director, said, “Of course we had a plummet in demand, goods, products – you had establishments that were closing 16 employers as a result, furloughing, laying off people, workers as the econ shifts we see increased demand.”

The Creighton report shows growth in business conditions from July to August. Tony Robyn is the director of the MO-KAN Economic Development Partnership – he points to regional hiring that supports that trend.

“We know that LaZBoy is bringing some people back on – they’re hiring again. Leggett and Platt, one of our large area manufacturers is hiring again. So you’re starting to see activity already.”

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