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Missouri unemployment nearing pre-pandemic levels

by Ryan Pivoney | November 18, 2021 at 5:05 a.m. | Updated November 18, 2021 at 11:48 a.m.
A crew from Septagon Construction works Nov. 17, 2021, on the loading dock portion of the new 55,000-square foot freezer at Graves Menu Maker Foods on Big Horn Drive in the Apache Flats area west of Jefferson City, Mo.

Missouri's unemployment rate declined again in October, continuing a four-month downward trend.

The state saw a 0.1 percent decrease in its unemployment rate, dipping from 3.8 percent in September to 3.7 percent in October. Missouri's unemployment rate has been declining since June, when the unemployment rate was 4.3 percent.

An estimated 114,556 Missourians were unemployed in October, which is down 3,495 from September's estimate of 118,051, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center's monthly jobs report.

The unemployment rate is 1.3 percent lower than it was a year ago in October 2020.

Missouri is approaching pre-pandemic unemployment rates, which had been floating around 3.5 percent at the start of 2020.

During the pandemic, unemployment spiked at 12.5 percent. It has since fallen 8.8 percent.

Nationally, unemployment has also been on the decline but remains higher than Missouri's rate.

The U.S. unemployment rate in October was 4.6 percent, which is a 0.2 percent decrease from the September rate of 4.8 percent.

Missouri's unemployment decline correlates with a rise in employment in the state.

An estimated 2.85 million Missourians had jobs in October, which is up 3,500 from the revised September total of 2.84 million employed Missourians.

"Recovery from COVID-19-related layoffs continued with an increase of 72,300 jobs from October 2020 to October 2021," the MERIC report notes.

Manufacturing saw the biggest employment gains with 3,200 jobs added throughout October, followed by professional and business services with the addition of 2,800 jobs and trade, transportation and utilities, which added 1,800 jobs.

The education and health services industry also added 100 jobs.

Government jobs saw no change from September to October, while the leisure and hospitality industry lost 2,700 jobs and financial activities lost 500 jobs.

Employment was also up locally.

Jefferson City's employment reached 78,400 in October, an increase of 200 jobs since September.

The goods-producing industry was the only sector to see an employment decline, dropping from 11,700 jobs in September to 11,600 jobs in October.

Print Headline: State unemployment nearing pre-pandemic levels


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