Missouri added 14,800 new jobs in April, the third straight month the state has posted growth. John Fougere with the Department of Economic Development says it’s very encouraging.
“If we can keep seeing more months like the last three, where we’re adding jobs in the state. This recovery… we’ve seen signs of it now for the last few weeks if not months and this is just good news,” Fougere said.
Meantime, the unemployment rate only came down a tenth of a percent from March: now sitting at 9.4% statewide.
Fougere says it may take more time for that rate to come down significantly.
“When you’re emerging from the economic conditions we’ve seen, the actual unemployment rate will lag behind the job creation. The reason for that is, when labor market conditions are perceived by the public as improving, people who had left the labor force thinking there were no jobs available become encourage by better prospects. They start to look for work again. They don’t immediately find it so when they re-enter the market as ‘looking,’ they’re counted as unemployed re-entrants. In effect that keeps the unemployment rate higher,” Fougere said.
The biggest increase in jobs was in the leisure and hospitality sector, which saw 6,400 new jobs in April. Meantime, Government employment was down 1,400 jobs due to a decrease in census workers. Fougere says April historically will almost always see growth due to many seasonal jobs being created in that month; but adds that this April 2010 was still above average.
He says that’s largely thanks to new investments, and that more of those may be on the way in the coming weeks.
“(Monday) for example, we had 850 jobs created in one day. In Columbia there was IBM announcing they’re going to be creating 800 new jobs in their data center. Then down in New Madrid, Pioneer announced it’s going to be building its new soybean production facility, adding 50 local jobs down there as well. So, again, all good signs, we have a long way to go still,” Fougere said.