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Missouri unemployment returns to pre-pandemic levels

Virus Outbreak Economy
Posted at 10:41 AM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 11:41:14-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Missouri has returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest report from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

The state’s Economic Research and Information Center, or MERIC, is the research division of the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

Unemployment in Missouri dipped one-tenth of a percent to 3.7% from September to October, according to MERIC’s latest Monthly Jobs Report.

That matches the March 2020 unemployment rate, which also was 3.7%, before the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic drove Missouri’s unemployment rate to 12.5% in April 2020.

The state’s unemployment rate — which bottomed out at 3.1% in August 2018 before creeping back up to 3.5% by the end of 2019, according to MERIC’s analysis — steadily recovered to 4.4% by the end of 2020 before supply-chain issues, especially related to a shortage of semiconductors, drove a gradual increase from April through June 2021.

Missouri’s unemployment stood at 5.0% in October 2020, so it’s dropped 1.3% year-over-year, according to MERIC’s data.

The state added more than 72,000 jobs compared to last October, including 3,500 in October 2021 in non-farm employment.

Manufacturing jobs led the way with 3,200 jobs gained last month, but year-over-year leisure and hospitality showed the largest gains, adding more than 28,000 jobs, according to MERIC.