The Missouri Partnership is a public-private economic development partnership and a top economic development organization in the US

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The Southwest region - A comfortable place to do business


With La-Z-Boy and Leggett & Platt both located in the region, Missouri’s southwest is – literally – a comfortable place to do business!  The 7-county area, known for its nationally-ranked low cost of living, also boasts an outstanding transportation infrastructure.  Located at the crossroads of I-44 and the newly designated I-49, the southwest region provides easy shipping to both U.S. and Canadian markets.

Joplin, the area’s largest city, made national news in 2011 when an F-5 tornado destroyed many of its business, and again a year later when most of those businesses were rebuilt, making it one of America’s most notable comebacks.

Southwest Missouri’s businesses benefit from statewide strengths:

  • Low business costs and taxes
  • An above-average, below-market work force
  • A low cost of living
  • A strong transportation network 
  • U.S. highways 60, 71 and 160; Interstates 44 and 49
  • Class I rail via KCS and BNSF 
  • Regional airports

Major cities

Joplin (Pop: 50,789)
Carthage (14,232)
Neosho (12,157)
Webb City (10,989)
Monett (8,940)
Aurora (7,495)

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013








Businesses and industry

The region's major employers include:

Southwest Missouri profile


Educational attainment:

High School Diploma  70,392
Some College 44,659
Associate's Degree 13,140
Bachelor's Degree  22,122
Graduate Degree 10,792
Total Degrees 161,105

Download data (Excel or PDF) on all Missouri regions and counties.



Population 2014 292,311
Population Projection 2030 359,482
Civilian Labor Force (July 2015) 142,126
Employment (July 2015) 134,181
Unemployment (July 2015) 7,945
Unemployment Rate (July 2015) 5.60%


Download data (Excel or PDF) for all Missouri regions and Counties.



Recent investment projects

In just one year, the southwest region has announced the addition of nearly 400 new jobs and over 92 million in capital investment. Projects include:

  • Owens Corning - nearly $90 million investment creating over 100 jobs
  • EaglePicher - 100,000 sf expansion creating 171 new jobs
  • Market Fresh Produce - $200,000 investment in a new facility
  • Leggett & Platt - $100,000 expansion
  • Cook Portable Warehouses - adding 80 new jobs

Next steps

Download regional data  or find available sites and buildings in the region.

Contact Us
Phone: +1.314.725.0949
Toll Free: +1.877.725.0949
Fax: +1.314.725.0743
Online Form

120 South Central Avenue, Suite 1535
Saint Louis, MO 63105

12200 NW Ambassador Drive, Suite 205
Kansas City, MO 64163