Missouri gained 13,000 thousand jobs last month and the state’s unemployment numbers have held steady. The Department of Economic Development says that brings the total for the year to 25,500.

Last year’s total was 21,497, meaning Missouri has now added just under 47,000 new jobs in 2011 and 2012 to-date combined.

Economic Development spokesman John Fougere says looking at labor force numbers for unemployment along with payroll totals shows positive growth for the state.

Missouri’s unemployment rate for October was at 6.9 percent — unchanged from September — but remains a full percentage point under the national average at 7.9 percent.

Fougere says the unemployment rate is down 2.8 percentage points since its recessionary peak of 9.7 percent … and has been lower than the national unemployment rate for 38 months in a row. 

“During 2011, Missouri’s new job growth of 21,497 was better than five of our neighboring states,” Fougere says. “That includes Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.”

He says quarterly numbers will be coming in soon that show how Missouri compares to neighboring states.

AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:08)