Missouri's unemployment rate for March is the same as the national rate.
Approximately 3.6 percent of the state population was unemployed in March, according to the latest figures released by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. It's down slightly from MERIC's revised February rate of 3.7 percent and down 1.2 percent from a year ago.
Missouri's unemployment rate is the same as the national unemployment rate, which fell to 3.6 percent from 3.8 percent in February. The state's rate hasn't been higher than the national rate in five years, according to MERIC.
An estimated 109,474 people in Missouri were unemployed in March, which is 4,541 fewer people than MERIC's February estimate of 114,288.
However, employment in the state was also on the decline in March.
Missouri's employment figures fell by 200 jobs over the month to an estimated 2,904,300 Missourians with jobs. While private industry employment increased by 600 jobs, government employment decreased by 800 jobs.
Employment estimates for goods-producing industries remained the same because mining, logging and construction industries gained 2,100 jobs and manufacturing lost 2,100 jobs.
Service-providing industries saw a total increase of 600 jobs in March as education and health services added 2,800 jobs, leisure and hospitality gained 500 jobs, and financial activities and information industries added 200 jobs each.
Employment losses were concentrated in two main areas: trade, transportation and utilities lost 3,000 jobs and government employment lost 800 jobs in March. Other service-providing industries lost 100 jobs.
Employment fell by 800 jobs in the Capital City alone, from 77,400 in February to 76,600 in March. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest decline with 500 jobs lost in Jefferson City.
Statewide, most major private- sector industry areas have shared in Missouri's 82,100 employment increase over the past year. Leisure and hospitality has led the state's recovery with job gains equal to 31,600, according to MERIC.