Missouri had the third largest increase in employment numbers in the country in August–17,900 jobs were added according to a news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the bulk of those jobs have been seen in the manufacturing industry, said Missouri Department of Economic Development Spokesperson John Fougere.
“And I think that’s being led right now by the auto industry,” Fougere said.
The manufacturing industry in Missouri saw an increase of 4,900 jobs. Fougere said this increase has been led by the auto industry. Ford and General Motors, who both expanded their manufacturing plants by $1.1 billion and $380 million respectively last fall, signaled a rebirth in the auto industry in Missouri, Fougere said.
The increase in manufacturing jobs across the state was followed by health care and social assistance, which increased by 2,600 jobs and construction, which increased by 1,600 jobs.
“Missouri’s unemployment rate is actually down 2.5 percentage points (currently at 7.2) since the height of the recession, when it reached 9.7 percent in August 2009,” Fougere said in an email.
Fougere said the construction industry in Missouri also did well last winter due to the mild weather. The health care and social assistance industry continuously does well, he said.
“We saw that at the height of the recession a couple of years ago and we continue to see that,” he said.
Shaun Sappenfield, existing business manager at the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce, said in a previous interview that he works with a lot of manufacturers in Jefferson City and in the past two to three years, they’ve had some expansions.
“Company consolidations are one reason why a few of our local manufacturers are expanding,” Sappenfield said.
Missouri also tied with Hawaii and Oklahoma for the states with the highest increase in employment from last month, with an increase of 0.7 percent.
Texas and Florida were numbers one and two respectively for the most number of jobs added. Texas added 38,000 jobs and Florida added 23,200, according to a news release.
According to the release, unemployment rose in 26 states, remained stagnant in 12 states and decreased in 12 states. The Midwest as a whole showed the lowest employment rate in the country–7.5 percent. The unemployment for the country as a whole for the month of August was 8.1 percent.