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Missouri’s unemployment rate at 18-year low


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The number of Missourians out of work reached a 18-year low in August, as the unemployment rate edged down to 3.3 percent.

Missouri added 2,700 private-sector positions in August compared to July, while the nonfarm payroll employment — private and public — increased by 1,000 jobs.

The last time the state’s unemployment rate dipped lower than 3.3 percent was in February 2000. In July 2018, the jobless percentage was 3.4 percent in the state. Missouri has consistently had a lower unemployment rate than the national rate — currently, 3.9 percent — for 40 consecutive months.

Over the past year, Missouri payroll employment saw a 1.2 percent increase with the addition of 35,300 jobs.  

Industries that saw growth between July and August in 2018 included professional and business services with an increase of 4,000 positions; financial activities with 1,100 added jobs; and leisure and hospitality with 1,100 more employees.  

These gains were partly offset by job decreases in industries such as trade, transportation and utilities which saw 1,800 fewer jobs; manufacturing which declined by 1,500 employees; and local government which decreased by 1,600 positions.

As compared to August 2017, most industry groups experienced employment growth over the past year. The largest increases were in professional and business services with 13,700 more employees, an 3.6 percent increase; private education and health services adding 12,100 jobs, an 2.6 percent increase; and leisure and hospitality with 6,300 additional positions, an 2.1 percent increase.

Read the full jobs report here.