Missouri’s unemployment rate remained at 3.2 percent in February, while employment decreased slightly. This marks the 31st consecutive month in which Missouri’s unemployment rate has been lower than the corresponding U.S. rate, which was 3.8 percent in February.
Missouri nonfarm payroll employment decreased slightly over the month. The seasonally adjusted jobs estimate was 2,898,600, down by 800 from the revised January figure.
Employment continued to grow in durable goods manufacturing industries (up by 1,100 over the month.) Administrative, support, and waste management services employment increased by 1,000 from January. Smaller gains were reported in various other industries.
These gains were offset by decreases in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-2,000); wholesale trade (-1,000); and construction (-800). Wintry weather returned in February, following some moderation during the January reference week.
Over the past year, payroll employment has grown by 14,800 jobs or 0.5 percent. Since February 2018, manufacturing employment has increased by 8,700 jobs (3.2 percent), primarily in the durable goods sectors. Substantial employment gains were also noted in professional, scientific, and technical services (+6,100, +3.8 percent); health care and social assistance (+8,900, +2.1 percent); and accommodation and food services (+7,000, +2.7 percent).
These gains were partly offset by decreases in other industries including construction (-3,000, -2.4 percent); retail trade (-2,200, -0.7 percent); administrative, support, and waste management services (-3,500, -2.2 percent); and “other services” (-2,200, -1.9 percent).
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