Missouri unemployment rate climbs to 4 percent in August

Missouri’s unemployment rate for August was 4.0 percent, according to seasonally adjusted data released Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. That represented an increase of 0.2 points from the previous month and a decrease of 0.8 points from an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent in August 2016.

Total employment in the state declined by 4,000 jobs between July and August, with no notable change in the labor force. Employment was down by 35,000 jobs, or 1.2 percent, compared to August 2016. The labor force declined 62,500, or 2 percent, in the last year.

The largest employment losses by sector came from information services, which shed 2,600 jobs, and construction, which lost 2,100 jobs.

The largest gains were in health care and social assistance, which added 12,100 jobs, and accommodation and food services, which added 9,600 jobs.

Average weekly earnings were highest in the construction sector, followed by the manufacturing sector. As discussed in the Federal Reserve Bank’s latest Beige Book report, construction and manufacturing employers continued to experience difficulties finding the necessary workers. As a result, they keep increasing wages to retain and attract employees, especially in St Louis.

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