Missouri unemployment rate declines

Friday, October 20, 2006

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The state's unemployment rate dipped slightly last month to 5 percent, the state Department of Economic Development said Thursday, but it remained above the national average for another month.

The national unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in September. Missouri's rate, seasonally adjusted, in August and a year earlier was 5.1 percent.

The state agency said nonfarm payroll jobs fell by 8,200 compared with August, seasonally adjusted, to a total of 2,754,300.

Much of the drop is because the school year started earlier than usual, and that increase was accounted for in the August figure rather than September, the department said. Government employment, which includes public schools, declined by 5,700 jobs.

Construction and manufacturing jobs showed big gains for the month, while trade and transportation jobs and private education and health services industries fell.

Missouri jobs overall have grown by 16,300, or less than 1 percent, over the past year, the department said, with most of the increases coming from private service fields.

Trade, transportation and utilities jobs rose by 9,000, educational and health services jobs rose by 4,500, and professional and business services were up 3,400.

Government jobs were up by 4,400, or 1 percent, for the year, mostly on the local government side.

Construction jobs rose by 2,200, or 1.5 percent, compared with September 2005, but manufacturing jobs were down 6,900, due to auto plant closings and temporary layoffs.

The agency reports those year-to-year figures without accounting for seasonal adjustment.

On the Net:

Economic Development: http://www.ded.mo.gov

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