Missouri unemployment lowers to 7.9% in June as retail, hospitality see gains

Missouri’s unemployment rate decreased again in June as the state continued to recover jobs lost after the initial onset of the coronavirus, but employment across most industries remained steeply below pre-pandemic levels.

The state unemployment rate for the month was 7.9%, according to the Missouri Department of Economic Development. That was down from 10.1% in May, but it was more than double the state’s 3.1% unemployment rate in June 2019.

Missouri employers added 71,600 nonfarm jobs in June, according to seasonally adjusted state data. The biggest gains came in accommodation and food services (31,100) and retail trade (19,800) as the reopening of businesses shuttered by the pandemic brought jobs back to those sectors.

Despite the job gains from May to June, every sector of the state economy — and nearly every subcategory — saw year-over-year employment declines. The biggest percentage job loss was in arts, entertainment and recreation employment, which was down 36.5% from the year before.

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