St. Charles County: A Thriving Hub for Job Growth
St. Charles County is the fastest-growing county in Missouri and the third most populous county in the state, with an estimated population of nearly 415,000 residents in 2024.
Strategically positioned at the center of the westward expansion of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan region, St. Charles County features the third largest economy in the state and represents 6% of Missouri’s $7.5 billion economy.
The median household income in the county is $91,792 per the U.S. Census Bureau 2021 report.
The Economic Development Council of St. Charles County reports that the county is home to nearly 10,000 diverse employers, from entrepreneurs and small businesses to global corporations.
From 2012 to 2022, St. Charles County accounted for 44% of new job creation within the Greater St. Louis area. The expanding economy provides a wide range of career opportunities across many fields and industries. With its skilled workforce, business-friendly policies, and prime location, St. Charles County offers an ideal environment where companies of all sizes can prosper.
The county’s impressive employment growth is expected to continue as more companies recognize the benefits of locating their operations in this thriving region just outside St. Louis.
By 2030, the county estimates a population of over 470,000 people.
One of the Lowest Unemployment Rates in the Area
St. Charles County boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, hovering around 2.4% in 2023.
Overall, Missouri trends lower than other similar states in terms of unemployment rates. There are several benefits of a low unemployment rate, like higher wages and benefits and overall economic growth.
The booming workforce and the high level of confidence that companies have moving to the area are factors contributing to a low unemployment rate in the region.
The labor market and economic health of the St. Charles County region demonstrate that the area is growing rapidly and trending in a positive direction.
Meet the Next Generation Workforce in St. Charles County
With over 250,000 students in the St. Louis region, there is a growing talent pipeline supported by educational institutions, government programs, and private sector initiatives.
St. Charles County is a hub for job growth, and it has the lowest unemployment rate in the region.
Elite Programs at the high school level
Local high schools prepare future workers through partnerships with manufacturers. Programs like the Zumwalt Apprenticeship Program give students paid on-the-job training and college credits. Events such as Manufacturing Day and the St. Charles County Job Fair connect students directly with potential employers.
Students have the chance to meet with representatives from local companies to get an idea of what opportunities are available locally after high school. Many school districts in the county are placing an emphasis on career and technical education courses that teach relevant skills like computer-aided drafting (CAD) to ensure students have the opportunity to explore a variety of careers.
Programs at the higher education level
Beyond high school, two- and four-year colleges like St. Charles Community College and Lindenwood University offer programs aligned with local employer needs. Leaders and faculty at local educational institutions partner with businesses to provide internships, apprenticeships, and career placements.
Annual job fairs, recruiter events, and initiatives like Build My Future STL showcase local career opportunities. These events are beneficial for students preparing to enter the local workforce as well as companies seeking to fill positions.
Ranken Technical College West and St. Charles Community College provide hands-on technical training in fields like automotive maintenance, information technology, and engineering. The state-sponsored Missouri One Start program also offers customized recruitment and training at no cost to employers. Employers in St. Charles County are taking advantage of these programs to fill critical roles.
St. Charles Community College is launching a new Regional Workforce Innovation Center in 2025. The new center will focus on innovation and preparing the workforce for future jobs in fields like:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Sustainable energy
New programs in cutting-edge manufacturing areas, including battery technology, electric and autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, and robotics, will be available. The Center aims to develop the regional workforce for jobs of the future through technology education and industry collaboration.
St. Charles County leverages workforce development initiatives to recruit, train, and retain skilled talent employers within the region require.
The collaboration between government, education, and industry enables the county’s workforce to continue to grow which in turn can attract additional industry development. St. Charles County is committed to preparing its future workforce for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.
Companies that Call St. Charles County Home
St. Charles County is home to major multinational corporations like General Motors, Citigroup, Mastercard, and Boeing.
The county ranks among the top 25 nationally for high-tech job growth, according to the Progressive Policy Institute.
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Over 6 million square feet of major commercial development projects were initiated in the county in 2022, breaking the previous year’s record by 29%.
Significant projects include:
- Industrial parks
- Healthcare facilities
- Education centers
- Expansion of existing manufacturers
These new developments are expected to create thousands of local jobs. With a diverse and skilled workforce, strategic industry focus, and a commitment to fostering innovation, St. Charles County is well-positioned to continue its economic growth and provide a promising future for businesses and employees alike.
Top Promoters of Growth
Economic Development Council of St. Charles County
The Economic Development Council of St. Charles County (EDC) works to attract, retain, and grow businesses in the county.
The EDC provides services like business attraction, counseling, training, and financing.
In 2022, the EDC helped bring new facilities for Diode Dynamics, Lear Corporation, and Piston Group to the county, adding over 400,000 square feet of manufacturing and logistics space and hundreds of jobs. The EDC touts the county’s fast growth, low unemployment, highly educated workforce, infrastructure investments, data centers, wineries, and high rankings for health and quality of life as assets in attracting more residents and businesses.
Additionally, the EDC assists and supports entrepreneurs and small business development that help contribute to the overall economic health of the region.
Looking Forward: Future Growth of St. Charles County
St. Charles County has experienced rapid growth and development over the past decade to become a major economic hub in the St. Louis metro
With the third largest economy in Missouri, median household incomes over $90,000, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the St. Louis region, the county provides a business-friendly environment where companies prosper.
Major corporations, growth in high-tech jobs, and over 6 million square feet of new commercial developments initiated in 2022 demonstrate the county’s impressive expansion.
Educational institutions and workforce development programs supply trained talent to support continued growth. With its skilled workforce, ideal location, and a wide variety of thriving industries, St. Charles County is poised for even greater economic success in the years ahead.