State jobless rate falls in December

Sunday, January 20, 2002

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percent in December, the Missouri Department of Economic Development reported Friday.

The rate went from 4.7 percent in November to 4.4 percent in December. The overall unemployment rate remained at 4.3 percent.

About 125,000 Missourians were out of work in December while more than 2.7 million had jobs, the department said.

"We are pleased to see a decline in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, but we will continue to keep an eye on the state of unemployment as we continue to work through this economic downturn," said Joe Driskill, director of the Department of Economic Development.

Despite the lower rate for December, Driskill said the adjusted rate is a full point higher than it was a year ago. Missouri's unadjusted rate of 4.3 percent remains below the nation's 5.4 percent.

Nodaway County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 1.3 percent while Reynolds was the highest at 12.5 percent unemployment.

Overall payroll employment in Missouri was down by more than 11,000 jobs in December. Construction lost 5,800 jobs, much of which was seasonal. Business services, meanwhile, experienced a gain of 2,000 jobs last month.

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