Missouri’s unemployment rate remained more than a full point below the national average during July, according to data released today by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Missouri’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent, up a tenth of a point from the June figure. In comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate for July 2012 was at 8.3. Overall, Missouri’s unemployment rate has fallen 2.5 percentage points since the recessionary peak of 9.7 percent. Missouri’s unemployment rate has been below the national average for 35 months in a row.

Missouri nonfarm payroll employment fell in July, as record high temperatures and drought took a toll on outdoor activities such as construction, landscaping & lawn care, and recreation programs. Overall state employment decreased by 7,700. For the year, the state has now added 6,800 new jobs, after finishing 2011 with a gain of 21,386.