Missouri’s unemployment rate drops slightly, but enough to be at least a bit encouraging to state officials.
9.3%; not the unemployment rate the state would like, but a rate that at least dropped two-tenths of a percent from September and a rate nearly a full percentage point below the national unemployment rate of 10.2%.
“So, while the number is not where we want it to be, we are certainly hopeful that this is suggesting some signs of stabilization in our unemployment rate in the state,” says John Fougere, a spokesman for the State Department of Economic Development.
The state lost jobs in transportation, utilities and government. The Economic Development Department reports a loss of 2,800 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector. Government jobs dropped by 1,300, with the biggest losses reported in local government. Half the losses occurred in retail trade. Growth was evident in durable goods manufacturing, which added 2,200 jobs to the economy as well as private educational and health services, which grew by 2,700 jobs. The sector of professional and business services also added a thousand jobs.
Fougere is quick to state the unemployment rate is too high, but even a drop as slight as two-tenths of a percent is welcome.
“9.3 is not where we want to be, but the numbers we see here suggests that the job market is continuing to stabilize and is also demonstrating what some independent economic sources have already been reporting about the health of our state’s economy and we’re going to keep moving forward,” says Fougere.
A report by Moody’s indicates affordable housing in St. Louis and Kansas City and a diverse economy have helped keep Missouri’s economy afloat. The report suggests 11 states, including Missouri, are recovering from recession.