Missouri's unemployment rate falls in February

Friday, March 11, 2005

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's unemployment rate dropped in February, but remained above the national average, the state Department of Economic Development said.

Missouri's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell last month to 5.7 percent, the same as it was in December. The national rate last month was 5.4 percent.

Missouri's January rate was 6 percent. The department said the temporary rate increase and drop in jobs was due to bad weather and auto industry layoffs.

In February, the state's nonfarm, seasonally adjusted payroll grew by more than 10,000 jobs, for a total of 2,701,400.

Missouri industries that saw jobs drop in January rebounded last month, including construction, for a gain of 1,900 jobs, manufacturing, up 4,400, business services with a 3,400 increase, and hospitality, up 2,900.

Missouri's employment picture also has improved over the past year. Employment was up about 39,000 jobs, or 1.5 percent, compared to February 2004, again helped by construction and manufacturing.

The private service industries also grew by about 1.6 percent, or 27,400 jobs, with all sectors gaining except information services, which has fallen as telecommunications jobs have dropped.

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