Missouri unemployment rate rises slightly in December

Missouri’s unemployment rate increased to 3.1 percent in December, the state Department of Economic Development announced Tuesday. That was higher than November’s record-low jobless rate of 3.0 percent, but it was six-tenths of a point lower than last December’s rate of 3.7 percent.

Missouri’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm labor force grew by 4,100 jobs compared to November and 39,000 jobs over December 2017.

Two categories tied for the biggest job gains, with 1,800 apiece: health care and social assistance, and accommodation and food services.

The biggest losses came in transportation, warehousing and utilities, which shed 1,200 jobs.

The workforce in St. Louis, the state’s largest job market, grew by 5,000 over November and 18,700, or 1.4 percent, over a year ago. Kansas City shed 600 jobs from November but gained 16,200, or 1.5 percent, year over year.

The state unemployment rate has been lower than the U.S. rate for 44 consecutive months, according to the DED. National unemployment for December was 3.9 percent.

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