Missouri unemployment drops to 4.8% as 16,000 leave labor force

Missouri saw minor improvement in its unemployment rate in October, but another 16,000 Missourians left the civilian labor force, according to state labor data released Wednesday.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the month was 4.6%, down 0.2 percentage points from September, but well above last year’s level. Last October’s unemployment rate was 3.4%.

Missouri’s unemployment rate remained lower than the national rate for October, which was 6.9%.

State unemployment has declined for five straight months after peaking above 10% in April and May, after the first wave of pandemic-driven job losses.

Missouri’s lower unemployment rate in October was attributable not to net employment growth, but to decreased participation in the labor force. Total employment dropped by more than 10,000 jobs, but that was offset in the unemployment rate by the labor force shrinking by more than 16,000 people.

The largest monthly private-sector job gains were in construction (3,300), trade, transportation and utilities (3,200) and professional and business services (2,800). The largest losses were in manufacturing (5,700) and leisure and hospitality (1,100).


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