JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A new report shows Missouri gaining nearly 18,000 jobs last month while the state's unemployment rate held steady at 7.2 percent.
The state Department of Economic Development released the figures Tuesday.
The agency says the net gain of 17,900 nonfarm payroll jobs from July included 4,900 jobs in manufacturing and 10,200 jobs in the government sector -- nearly all of those at the local level.
Missouri's unemployment rate has been below 8 percent throughout 2012. But Tuesday's report also notes that the state's civilian labor force fell by nearly 11,000 from July to August. The labor force is made up of people who are employed and those who are out of work but actively looking for jobs.