St. Louis leads August job growth as metro areas outpace rest of state

Missouri’s unemployment rate in August was 3.4%, one-tenth of a point higher than a year before, according to a monthly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued Wednesday. Missouri’s unemployment rate remained lower than the national level, which was 3.8% in August.

Among the eight metropolitan areas in the state, Cape Girardeau had the highest unemployment rate at 3.4%. The seven other metro areas had unemployment rates lower than the state as a whole.

Columbia had the lowest unemployment rate in August, at 2.5%. The area also had the lowest rate in July.

St. Louis showed the greatest year-over-year improvement, with its unemployment rate decreasing to 3.3% from 3.6% a year ago.

On the other hand, the rate in Springfield increased by 0.3% from last August, marking the largest increase of any metro area in the state.

In terms of employees on nonfarm payrolls, Missouri saw 1.2% growth in August compared with the year prior. There were more than 2.9 million nonfarm employees statewide this August, according to the BLS.

St. Louis saw 1.9% growth of its nonfarm payrolls in that time, the largest year-over-year increase in the state. More than 1.4 million people in the area worked in nonfarm industries in August.

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