Callaway’s labor force, jobs shrinking

Although Callaway County’s unemployment rate held steady at 7 percent in February and March, the county’s labor force dropped by 98 people who gave up seeking a job, moved away or have exhausted unemployment benefits because of long-term joblessness.

Callaway County had a labor force of 22,624 in March, compared to 22,722 in February.

The number of people with jobs in Callaway County also dropped by 94 people from February to March. Callaway County had 21,129 people with jobs in February, falling to 21,035 in March.

Even though the number employed decreased and the county experienced a drop in the labor force, the number of people in Callaway County counted as unemployed and drawing unemployment benefits fell by only 4 people from 1,593 in February to 1,589 in March.

Callaway County was not alone in this drop in the labor force and the number of people with jobs. Cole County’s labor force shrank by 176 people from February and had 169 fewer people employed in March compared to February.

Like Callaway County, Cole County’s jobless rate held steady at 6.1 percent in February and march.

Boone County’ labor force shrank

by 175 in March compared to February. Its jobless rate fell from 5.3 percent in February to 5.1 percent in March.

Figures released Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Economic Development showed that Missouri’s unemployment rate declined by one tenth of a percentage point in April to 7.3 percent. The department said that is the lowest level in 40 months.

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