Missouri unemployment rate increases

Missouri's unemployment rate increased in October, making a turning point on 10 months of declines.

Despite employment gains, the state's unemployment rate rose from 2.4 percent in September to 2.6 percent in October, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. It's the first time in 2022 MERIC's estimation of the state's unemployment rate increased from the previous month.

The state agency estimates there were 78,871 unemployed Missourians in October, which is an increase of 4,337 from the September estimate. Approximately 2,024 Missourians lost jobs in October, according to MERIC.

Missouri's unemployment increase mirrors a similar trend on the national scale.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose from 3.5 percent in September to 3.7 percent in October. Missouri's unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for the past five years.

The state's labor force participation rate -- the proportion of the total population that is economically active -- was 62.4 percent in October, consistent with the previous two months but slightly higher than the national rate of 62.2 percent. The state's labor force participation rate has fallen almost a full percentage point since May, when the rate was 63.3 percent.

Missouri's employment-to-population ratio -- the number of workers currently employed compared to the total working-age population -- was 60.8 percent in October, down from the September estimate of 60.9 percent. The national ratio is an even 60 percent.

Despite the uptick in the unemployment rate, Missouri saw employment gains of approximately 4,600 jobs from September to October. Private industries added 3,500 jobs and government employment added 1,100 jobs.

An estimated 2,932,500 Missourians had jobs in October, according to MERIC.

Private service-providing industries gained 3,600 jobs over the month. Professional and business services added 3,600 jobs, leisure and hospitality added another 1,500 jobs, and financial activities and information services added 600 jobs each. Educational and health services gained 200 jobs while other service providers gained 300.

Government employment grew by 1,100 jobs over the month as local governments added 800 jobs, the state added 200 jobs and the federal government added 100 jobs.

Employment declines were largely concentrated in trade, transportation and utilities, which lost 3,200 jobs from September to October. Goods-producing industries lost another 100 jobs as manufacturing gained 800 and mining, logging and construction lost 900.

Employment in the Capital City grew from September to October, according to MERIC.

The Jefferson City area gained 400 jobs over the course of the month, moving from 77,000 people employed to 77,400. Public and private sectors of the city experienced gains across the board.

With 1,500 more people working than a year ago, Jefferson City's employment has grown 2 percent since October 2021.

Missouri's unemployment rate is 1.4 percent lower than it was a year ago with 72,400 more people employed.