Missouri’s unemployment rate increases for second straight month

Missouri's unemployment rate increased for the second time this year in November.

The state's unemployment rate was 2.7 percent last month, up from the 2.6 percent recorded for October, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. MERIC released the November unemployment estimate Wednesday.

The unemployment rate in Missouri was declining for 10 consecutive months until October, when MERIC recorded the year's first unemployment increase from 2.4 percent to 2.6 percent.

November's estimate builds on that increase.

MERIC estimates there were 83,000 unemployed Missourians in November, up more than 4,000 from October's estimate of 78,868.

The state's unemployment rate remains well below the national unemployment rate, currently at 3.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Missouri's unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for the past five years.

Missouri's labor force participation rate -- the proportion of the total population that is economically active -- was 62.5 percent in November, up from 62.4 percent in October and higher than the national rate of 62.1 percent. The state's rate was on the decline from 63.3 percent in May.

The state's employment-population ratio -- the number of workers currently employed compared to the total working-age population -- was 60.8 percent in November, consistent with October and higher than the national rate of 59.9 percent. The state's rate decreased from September, when it was estimated at 60.9 percent.

MERIC recorded an employment increase of 8,200 jobs from October to November.

Private industries gained 7,600 jobs over the month and government employment grew by 600 jobs.

An estimated 2,940,300 Missourians were employed in November.

Goods-producing industries added 4,200 jobs from October to November as mining, logging and construction companies filled 2,700 jobs and manufacturing filled 1,500 jobs.

Service-providing industries gained 3,400 jobs over the month. Leisure and hospitality businesses added 2,600 jobs, financial activities added 1,700 jobs, professional and business services added 900 jobs, and educational and health services added 100 jobs.

Those gains were offset by the loss of 1,300 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, 400 jobs in the information sector and 200 jobs in other services.

Local governments added 900 jobs and the federal government lost 300 jobs. State government employment didn't change.

Employment in Missouri has grown by 72,800 jobs from November 2021 and the unemployment rate has decreased 1.2 percent.

Employment increased by 200 jobs in Jefferson City from October to November, according to MERIC's report.

An estimated 77,700 people were employed in the Capital City in November, up from the 77,500 estimated in October. A year ago, MERIC estimated there were 76,300 people employed in Jefferson City.

The gains were concentrated in private service-providing industries.