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OUR OPINION: Missouri gets back to work

February 17, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

Missouri has made an amazing recovery after unemployment in the state -- and the nation -- spiked during the pandemic

In November 2019, shortly before the pandemic, the state's unemployment was at a near-record low of 3.1 percent. But amid the spread of COVID-19, that unemployment figure ballooned to more than 10 percent in April 2020.

Last month, we reported the state unemployment rate dropped to 3.3 percent in December 2021, a decrease of 0.2 percent from November 2021, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

Credit our state's workers for getting back on their feet and back to work.

Also, give credit to Gov. Mike Parson, who ended Missouri's participation in federal unemployment benefits early.

"When we had an all-time high of 385,000 individuals on unemployment, we knew we had to take action and solve this problem," Parson said in his State of the State speech. "Missouri was one of the first in the nation to cut off federal unemployment benefits and today, only 21,000 are drawing benefits. This was the right call and the right thing to do."

We agree with the governor it was the right decision.

Still, Missouri's labor market is tight. The state needs more workers. Each week, there are an average of 120,000 job postings, as we recently reported.

Thankfully, Missouri has made workforce development a priority, which should help.

If you are seeking employment -- or different employment -- the state's MoJobs website can help to match your skills with employers or to help you increase your skills in certain areas. Visit the site at

News Tribune

Print Headline: Missouri gets back to work


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