Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 4.9% in September, according to state labor data released Wednesday. That was down 2.1 percentage points from August but up 1.8 points from the state’s 3.1% unemployment rate last September.
The state continued to see its unemployment rate decrease from a pandemic-induced peak of 10.2% in May, but the jobless rate in September was higher than at any point in almost five years before the coronavirus, dating back to June 2015.
The number of unemployed Missourians dropped by about 68,000 from August to September, but much of the decline was attributed to workers leaving the labor market after their unemployment insurance benefits were exhausted. The state’s total civilian labor force declined by 2.3% for the month.
The largest private-sector job gains for the month were in colleges, universities and professional schools (2,900) and employment services (1,500).
The most significant job losses by private-sector industry came in social assistance (3,700), amusement, gambling and recreation (3,500), and food services and drinking places (2,100).