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Missouri ends 2022 with unemployment increase

by Ryan Pivoney | January 20, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Missouri's unemployment rate increased slightly to 2.8 percent as 2022 came to a close.

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center released its December employment estimates Thursday, documenting the third consecutive increase to the state's unemployment rate in 2022.

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

November and December built on that increase.

The state's unemployment rate increased from 2.7 percent in November to 2.8 percent in December as employment declined by an estimated 5,000 jobs, according to MERIC.

Businesses in the private sector lost 5,300 jobs over the month while government employment grew by 300 jobs.

There are an estimated 84,553 unemployed Missourians -- an increase of 1,528 people without jobs from November's estimate of 83,025.

Missouri's unemployment rate remains well below the national unemployment rate, which fell from 3.6 percent in November to 3.5 percent in December.

An estimated 2,933,300 Missourians had jobs in December.

Employment declines were largely concentrated in the mining, logging and construction industries, which together lost a total of 4,500 jobs from November to December. Manufacturing, another goods-producing industry, gained 200 jobs.

Service-providing industries also lost jobs over the month.

The leisure and hospitality industry lost 3,600 jobs, professional and business services lost 1,200 jobs and information services lost 400 jobs. Those losses were partially offset by educational and health services adding 1,700 jobs, financial activities adding 800 jobs, trade, transportation and utilities adding 600 jobs and other services adding 1,100 jobs.

Government employment grew by 300 jobs with all jobs being added to local governments.

Employment in Jefferson City grew by 200 jobs from November to December, MERIC estimates.

Approximately 78,100 Missourians are employed in the Capital City, up from the 77,900 estimate for November and the 77,600 estimate from a year ago.

The state's labor force participation rate -- the proportion of the total state population that is economically active -- was 62.6 percent in December, an increase from the revised 62.3 percent in November.

The employment-population ratio -- the number of workers currently employed compared to the total working-age population in Missouri -- was 60.9 percent in December, a slight increase from the 60.8 percent recorded for November. Nationally, the rate is 60.1 percent.

Since December 2021, Missouri's unemployment rate has dropped 1.1 percent, from 3.9 percent to 2.8 percent. The state has gained an estimated 47,600 jobs over the past year.

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