Military spending in Missouri totaled approximately $18.2 billion in the 2018 fiscal year, and that spending accounted for more than $29 billion in economic activity for the state, according to a report released Monday by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
The new report from consulting firms Kit Bond Strategies and Development Strategies, both of St. Louis, did not break down the economic impacts of military spending and operations in Missouri down to a regional or county level.
However, it’s possible the Jefferson City area benefited from a significant percentage of the approximately $748 million in direct spending, more than $1.3 billion in economic output and 16,860 jobs supported by the Missouri National Guard, because, according to the report, the Guard’s headquarters at the Ike Skelton Training Site in Jefferson City is where the largest proportion of Guard personnel are stationed.
Missouri is home to several major military installations and national security assets, as well as other military-related operations and activities — among them: the U.S. Army’s Ft. Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base are on the edges of the Mid-Missouri area; Boeing Defense and Security in St. Louis has built fighter jet aircraft; and the National Security Campus in Kansas City, operated by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing and Technologies, manufactures or procures non-nuclear components for nuclear weapons.
The report broke down economic impacts by facility, military branch or other broad categories of activities.
In all, the U.S. Department of Defense spent $17 billion in Missouri in the 2018 fiscal year, with another $1.1 billion spent in the state by the U.S. Department of Energy. DoE supports the Kansas City National Security Campus, and DoD funds all the other military facilities and assets in the state.
Approximately $11.9 billion of the DoD’s spending was for contractors, with another $2.4 billion on major installations.
Other military-related spending comes from the U.S. Department of Education and visitors to the state.
Military-related spending represented more than 9 percent of Missouri’s gross state product in the 2018 fiscal year.
The gross state product is the monetary value of all the goods and services produced in the state, according to a news release from DED.
Military-related spending also directly or indirectly supported more than 180,000 jobs — more than 6 percent of Missouri’s workforce.
“We are proud that the men and women who serve in the military or work in defense companies here in Missouri help defend our nation,” Gov. Mike Parson said in DED’s news release.
Parson added: “This new report reminds us that they also support our economy, creating tens of thousands of additional jobs and increasing earnings. Our state is stronger and our communities are better places to live because of what they do for us every day.”
The Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission, and its Office of the Military Advocate commissioned the economic impact report “as a way to gauge the success of state and local efforts to support Missouri’s military installations, defense agencies, and defense contractors, such as Boeing,” according to DED’s news release.
“We hope this report underscores the importance of the military services and defense companies that call Missouri home. I find that not many people realize how much defense funding is invested in our state, and how many jobs and increased earnings are directly and indirectly produced for our citizens,” Missouri military advocate Joe Driskill said.
MMPEC and DED’s Office of the Military Advocate work to support military installations, defense contractors and members of the military upon leaving the service.
The full economic impact report is available at military.ded.mo.gov/sites/military/files/Economic%20Impacts%20of%20Defense%20Spending%20in%20Missouri_August%202020_0.pdf.