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September jobs report shows decreased unemployment rates

Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped more than 2 percent in September, according to the latest jobs report released Wednesday.

The report found the state’s unemployment rate at just below 5 percent — a drop from the 7 percent reported in August. The number of unemployed Missourians dropped for the month by more than 68,000 — down to 146,000 from August’s 214,000. 

Missouri came in well below the national unemployment average of 8 percent, but rates remained nearly twice as high as numbers reported at the same time last year.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 13,000 for the month compared to August. However, total payroll decreased by 122,000 jobs from last September, with the goods production sector losing more than 4,000 jobs for the year and service industry employment decreasing by 118,000 compared to September 2019.

Employment numbers increased in several industries last month. The leisure and hospitality sector reported an increase of 1,500 jobs; construction gained 2,100 jobs; and the trade, transportation, and utility sector saw an employment increase of 2,500. Government jobs saw the biggest increase in September with more than 4,600 new jobs reported for the month.   

Despite increasing for the month, many industries still reported substantial dips in employment compared to last year. The leisure and hospitality sector sat at more than 16 percent below its employment numbers from September 2019 and educational and health services utilities came in around 4 percent below last year. 

General revenue saw a substantial increase last month, leaping over last September’s collections by 3 percent, according to the most recent general revenue report

Missouri showed strong employment numbers in 2019 — then hovered at 3.5 percent unemployment earlier this year before surging to a high of 10 percent in April due to COVID-19. Since the state reopened in May, unemployment numbers have continually decreased from month to month.