The Missouri labor market’s recovery resumed in September 2020. 

Missouri Economic Research and Information Center reports employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 13,000 jobs over the month and over-the-year job losses from COVID-19 shutdowns dropped below 125,000. 

Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went down by 2.1 percentage points in September, decreasing to 4.9 percent from an August rate of 7 percent.

Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now been either below or equal to the national rate for 67 consecutive months. The national unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in September. 

The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 146,051 in September, down by 68,345 from August’s 214,396. The over-the-month drop is due in part to the unemployed workers exhausting their Unemployment Insurance benefits and leaving the labor market. The change contributed to the 2.3 percent decline in Missouri’s total civilian labor force over the month. 

Due to lingering layoffs from COVID-19 shutdowns, the September 2020 rate was still nearly 50 percent higher than the September 2019 rate. The rate had reached a record low of 3 percent starting in August 2018, before edging up a tenth of a point in November 2018 and again in December 2018. The rate had remained at 3.2 percent through April 2019 before decreasing by a tenth of a point in May 2019. It then began a slow increase, reaching 3.4 percent in October 2019, where it remained for the remainder of 2019. 

The rate was steady at 3.5 percent in January and February before the COVID-19 spike began in March. The rate peaked at 10.2 percent in April before decreasing slightly in May, then moving strongly lower in June and July as COVID-19 restrictions were eased. The rate was unchanged in August, and unemployment again decreased sharply in September.   

The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate was 4.3 percent in September, down by 2.8 percentage points from the August not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 7.1 percent. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for September was 7.7 percent.  

A year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.3 percent, and the not-adjusted rate was 2.7 percent.


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