Missouri Governor Jay Nixon released a statement on Monday highlighting the economic progress across the state.

According to the latest report released by the Bureau of  Labor Statistics, Missouri was ranked among the top ten states for job growth.

Nixon noted that Missouri’s employment rate in November of 6.1% was one full point below the national average of 7.1%.

“This week’s positive economic news demonstrates once again that these proven strategies are paying off, as Missouri’s economy continues to move in the right direction,” Nixon said in a statement Monday. “Now let’s keep it going.”

Press Release from the Office of Governor Jay Nixon

The latest jobs report showing that Missouri is a top 10 state for job growth in 2013 caps a successful year of strategic investments and strong economic growth, Gov. Jay Nixon said today. Missouri employers added 15,000 jobs in November, helping bring the state’s unemployment rate down to 6.1 percent, its lowest point since August 2008. Since January, nonfarm payroll employment in Missouri has increased by 43,900, more than all but nine other states in the nation.

“By keeping our fiscal discipline and making strategic investments in our students, schools and vital public services, we made Missouri an even better place to live, work and raise a family in 2013,” Gov. Nixon said. “Working together, we protected our AAA credit rating, expanded opportunities for students, and improved services for Missourians with mental and developmental challenges. This week’s positive economic news demonstrates once again that these proven strategies are paying off, as Missouri’s economy continues to move in the right direction. Now let’s keep going.”

Other notable facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

· Only four other states in the nation had larger increases in employment in November

· Missouri’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in November 2013 from 8.6 percent in January 2009.

· Missouri’s unemployment rate has been below the national average for 51 consecutive months

· Missouri’s unemployment rate is now nearly a full point below the national unemployment rate

This strong jobs report caps off a year of significant progress for the Governor’s agenda of creating jobs, maintaining fiscal discipline and making strategic investments in vital public services:

Fighting Every Day for Every Job

§ Missouri ranked as a Top 10 Pro-Business States for the fourth year in a row, according to Pollina Corporate.

§ Missouri had the 7th most favorable corporate tax structure. The Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index found that Missouri has the 7th most favorable corporate tax structure in the nation.

§ Missouri had the 3rd fastest rate of technology job growth. The Tech America Foundation’s 2013 Cyberstates report found that Missouri had the third-fastest rate of technology job growth in the nation in 2012.

§ Called special session of the legislature to pass Boeing jobs bill. Gov. Nixon called the legislature into a special session to help Missouri compete for production of the Boeing 777X. In less than five days, Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate by a vote of 23-8 and the House by a vote of 127-20.

§ Passed and implemented Missouri Works to make Missouri’s economic development tools more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of high-growth industries.

§ Created one-stop-shop for permitting in the Department of Natural Resources that enables an applicant for multiple environmental permits to obtain permits through a coordinated and streamlined process.

§ Continued investments in workforce training have helped workers climb the economic ladder and help companies compete globally.

Major Investments by Global Brands

§ Boeing announced plans to create up to 800 new jobs in St. Louis County, furthering Missouri’s position as a leader in the aerospace industry.

§ Express Scripts, the nation’s leading pharmacy benefit manager, announced an expansion of its St. Louis campus that is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs over the next five years.

§ Cerner Corp. announced that the company is moving forward with plans to extend its Missouri campus and bring between 12,000 and 15,000 jobs to the former Bannister Mall site in Kansas City.

§ Monsanto, a pioneer in bioscience and sustainable agriculture, announced plans to invest more than $400 million at its Chesterfield Village Research Center in an expansion that will create an estimated 675 new jobs over the next three years.

§ Ford Motor Company announced plans to add a third production shift for the F-150 and hire an additional 900 workers at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, where it has undertaken a $1.1 billion expansion.

§ General Motors announced plans to invest an additional $133 million in its Wentzville facility and add a third stamping press to the assembly and stamping plant.

§ Automotive suppliers announced expansions and new investments, including Grupo Antolin and Adrian Steel in Kansas City; Toyota Bodine in Troy; and Yanfeng USA in Riverside.

§ Launched Export Missouri to sell more Missouri goods around the globe and led successful export missions to China, Brazil, Taiwan, Korea and Europe. Exports of Missouri agricultural products increased by more than $1 billion, or more than 70 percent, from 2009 to 2012.

§ 5,000th veteran hired through Show-Me Heroes, which the Governor launched in 2010 to help connect military veterans with job opportunities when they return home from service.

Maintaining Strict Fiscal discipline

§ Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s each reaffirmed Missouri’s AAA credit rating. During his domestic trade mission to New York, the Governor met with executives from all three rating agencies to discuss Missouri’s strong fiscal position. Missouri’s AAA credit rating saves taxpayers millions in interest and demonstrates to businesses around the world that the Show-Me State is a safe place to grow and invest.

§ Missouri leading the way in improving results for taxpayers. Missouri is one of 10 states leading the way in improving results for taxpayers by using cost-benefit analyses to drive policy decisions, according to the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative.

§ Continuing to pay down debt and save taxpayers millions in interest. This fall, the state retired the Third State Building bonds which had been used for the improvements of infrastructure, maintenance, and repair projects in Missouri.

§ Reducing energy use by 21 percent. In 2009 Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order directing agencies to reduce their energy use by two percent each year. In calendar year 2012, state agencies had reduced their total energy use by 21.67 percent compared to 2008.

§ Signed three executive orders to streamline and improve government operations as part of his administration’s ongoing initiative to increase efficiency and effectiveness

Investing in Schools & Students

§ Expanded access to quality early childhood education through Missouri Start Smart and additional investments in the Missouri Preschool Program and Early Head Start.

§ Record investments in Missouri’s public schools. The legislature followed the Governor’s recommendation to make record investments in K-12 classrooms this year. Gov. Nixon also announced his commitment to fully fund the state’s foundation formula for Missouri public schools by the end of his term as Governor.

§ Missouri’s graduation rate in the top 10 in the nation. Education Week’s 2013 Diploma’s Count Report showed Missouri with the 8th highest graduation rate in the country.

§ Implemented a performance-based funding model for higher education, based on specific performance goals, to expand opportunities for students and ensure taxpayer investments yield the best possible returns.

§ Introduced WGU – Missouri, a new, state-based online university offering high-quality degree programs to help thousands of working Missourians obtain an affordable college degree.

§ Innovation Campus initiative becomes a national model for training students for careers in high-demand fields, cutting the time it takes to earn a college degree, and reducing student debt.

§ Missouri’s A+ Schools Program is now available to nearly every student in the state. Today, 99 percent of Missouri’s public high school students can now earn scholarships for two years of tuition and fees at one of Missouri’s community colleges.

§ Missouri continued to lead the nation in holding down tuition increases. The College Board’s 2013 Trends in College Pricing report shows that tuition and fees at Missouri’s public four-year institutions increased just 5 percent since 2008, lower than in any other state in the nation.

Strengthening Missouri’s Mental Health System

§ Implemented a strategic initiative to help identify and treat people with severe mental illness before they reach crisis point, and help communities respond to those who do. The initiative includes:

o Expanded access to Mental Health First Aid training for educators, students, law enforcement officers, members of the clergy and others. By the end of this fiscal year, more than a thousand Missourians will have received training on these proven, life-saving techniques.

o New mental health liaisons at each of Missouri’s 29 community mental health centers to work with courts, law enforcement, schools, treatment professionals, and families to facilitate access to care and improve coordination of services for people with mental illness or substance use disorders.

o Emergency room pilot projects in seven areas of the state. These teams of mental health professionals can respond quickly and begin working with a patient when an emergency room requests assistance.

§ Moving forward on long-overdue repairs at Fulton State Hospital. The Governor proposed a strategic bond issuance for the construction of a new maximum and intermediate security psychiatric facility in Fulton, and made $13 million in state funding available to begin the planning and design process.

Preserving and Promoting Missouri’s Outdoor Traditions

§ Missouri named the “Best Trails State” by American Trails, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting our nation’s hiking, biking and riding trails.

§ Launched the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge to encourage Missourians to complete 100 miles of outdoor physical activity by the end of the year. Since the official launch on June 1, over 12,000 participants have completed more than 1.1 million miles.