Unemployment rises in state after attacks

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's unemployment rate rose last month in part because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Department of Economic Development said Tuesday.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went from 4.2 percent in September to 4.5 percent in October, the first full month that figures were available since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

The nation's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 5.4 percent.

"Our employment picture stabilized somewhat in September after having been on the decline since the beginning of the year. But the tragic events of Sept. 11 are reflected in our number for October and show another decline," said Joe Driskill, director of the Department of Economic Development.

The drop was reflected last week when state budget officials blamed the souring economy for another expected round of budget withholdings.

Despite the latest unemployment figures, Driskill expressed optimism that Missouri's economy could recover.

Nodaway County had the lowest unemployment rate at 0.9 percent, while Linn County had the highest at 10.9 percent.

Non-farm payroll in Missouri fell by 17,000 jobs in October, leaving 2.7 million Missourians collecting paychecks. The percentage drop of 0.6 percent was twice the national rate.

Construction lost 2,100 jobs last month despite past patterns that suggest the industry should have remained stable, the department said.

Trade also fell off sharply with decreases in wholesale trade.

Since last October, Missouri has lost 47,000 jobs or about 1.7 percent of the total work force.

Manufacturing and business services lost 43,000 jobs combined while trade saw 12,000 jobs disappear. The communications industry since last year is off 4,300 jobs and air transportation lost 1,700 positions, due in part to the attacks.

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