The numbers are in, and Missouri’s unemployment rate is down by a tenth of a percent. Missouri is at 8.8 percent unemployed. Department of Economic Development Spokesman John Fougere says June’s numbers have a lot of factors weighing on them.
Fougere says between natural disasters, college graduates and high schoolers entering the workforce looking for summer and fulltime employment, it’s impressive that Missouri hasn’t seen a rise in unemployment. He says he credits that to some initiatives from the Governor for creating jobs. He says Missouri lost 9,400 jobs to the Joplin tornado alone. That doesn’t take into account the damage from the tornadoes in Sedalia and St. Louis or the flooding in the northwestern part of the state.
Fougere says this is the lowest unemployment has been since March of 2009, and for the past few years Missouri has been lower than the national average for unemployment. Fougere says that has to do with Missouri’s diverse economy. He says a study a few years ago found that Missouri has the fourth most diverse economy of any state. That helps soften the blow of a sluggish national economy. He says Missouri was not hit as hard as California or Florida by the housing crisis, and that helps too.