State unemployment rate inches up in June

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's unemployment rate inched up in June, but its job growth was tops in the nation.

Last month's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Missouri was 5.2 percent, according to data released Tuesday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, up from 5.1 percent in May.

But Missouri also reported strong job growth for the month. The state's seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll grew by 27,600 jobs from May to June, a 1 percent growth rate that led the nation. Missouri, with 2,740,800 jobs, is also second only to North Carolina in number of jobs created during the last month.

The state's work force also is larger by 63,500 than it was in June 2003, and Missouri's unemployment rate remains below the national unemployment rate of 5.6 percent.

Many Missouri industries reported job totals for the month that were similar to jobs the industries had in May, but for the most part remain higher than a year ago.

Among the leaders in job growth was the education and health-care industries, which reported 370,200 jobs in June, up 8,200 from May and 17,900 more than in June 2003.

Also contributing to Missouri's strong job growth was the government sector, which added 6,900 jobs, for a total of 440,600. The leisure and hospitality industry added 3,800 in June.

Construction jobs dropped by about 400, to 138,900, but that is still 5,900 above the totals from a year earlier. Manufacturing stayed the same for the month, at 316,900, but that is 7,700 more jobs than last June. The transportation sector was up 800 jobs in June, at 532,800, the same as it had the previous year.

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