Outgoing Economic Development Director Kelvin Simmons paints a rosy picture of Missouri’s economic future – and he does so on the strength of figures showing this state is experiencing positive job growth – especially in the manufacturing sector. The Economic Development Department’s December Report shows 42,600 jobs were created between January and November – and that 4,500 of those were manufacturing jobs. In addition to strong job growth, Missouri’s exports are increasing in leaps and bounds. As for recent criticism from some business leaders that the Department has lost its focus in attracting jobs to Missouri, Simmons rejects the criticism, saying Missourians need only look at the job creation figures.