Missouri’s unemployment rate has not increased and the rate of job loss has slowed. But state officials are not ready to say a trend is developing.
The jobless rate for September holds at 9.5 percent….the same rate as August. For the seventh straight month, Missouri’s rate is lower than the national rate, which was 9.8. The Department of Economic Development says the state jobless rate has held at 9.3 to 9.5 percent for four months after a sharp climb earlier this year.
But department spokesman John Fougere says September is a hard month to read because of employment shifts that come with the end of summer and the start of school and other factors. ” “Is this a case of…things stabilizing or is it a case of a substantial number of people who are opting out of the job-seeking mode?…That’s just another indicator we’ll have to look at,” he says.
Non-farm payroll employment decreased by three-thousand jobs in September almost entirely because of decreases in durable good manufacturing and in accommodation and food services. Employment increased in St. LOuis in September but continued to decrease in Kansas City.
Fougere thinks the figures for October, which will come out in about a month, will give a clearer picture.