Interesting. I live in St. Louis now (have done for about 20 years) and can't say enough good things about the job market here. No, you're not going to find tech jobs in any of the big tech companies, but there are a surprising amount of programming and infrastructure jobs always available around here.
Engineering companies seem to exist all over the place here, and while yes healthcare IT is its own beast there are definitely plenty of jobs around here for that. And you'd be surprised the number (and pay) of tech jobs at some of the manufacturing firms around town.
Yes, you've got some shady neighbourhoods, but they are the exception rather than the rule. It's worth bearing in mind that St. Louis county also has the richest township per-capita in the entire country (Ladue), and many of the neighbouring towns have benefitted greatly from this. Chesterfield, Creve Couer and Des Peres spring to mind as areas that have had a sort of renaissance during the last 5-10 years.
And night life... yeah the night-life downtown isn't so hot. I agree that Laclede's Landing used to be amazing but has suffered greatly from that hulking great casino. I don't go down there... the casino itself is not nice inside (they rarely are anyway) and the area around it has become a bit of a crime cesspool despite significant police presence. The places to go in St. Louis on the weekends have moved out of the downtown area to places like South Grand and the previously scary Vandeventer / Forest Park Parkway stretch (location of the new Ikea). Not to mention places like The Grove that can be amazing for nightlife. These are all South of the city, somewhat... and I'm really pleased to see this place picking up like this.
Yes, you can also go out to the county for a very different feel... Chesterfield is still decent so long as you stay out of the Valley (the new outlet malls have really ruined it for me) and there's also some pretty decent night life around Clarkson and 40. South Lindbergh is also good for night life just as it always has been... Helen Fitzgerald's is always good for a laugh. And the CWE while not as upscale as it used to be still has a pretty popping nightlife. If you're out looking to just get laid, there's still Westport (not quite so good) or Old St. Charles (definitely high on the list of "yep, that'll work").
No, generally the wages aren't phenomenal here, but the cost of living is amazing. I have a 3000 square foot house with easy access to I-44 and I-40 in the South City area near South Grand and I paid less for it than I would've paid for a place half this size anywhere in Denver. It doesn't hurt that it's over a hundred years old and has gorgeous character. Yeah, old houses aren't for everyone but I love living in a place that has been through so much.