The COVID-19 pandemic caused a severe downturn in the nation’s labor market in April 2020. In Missouri, seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 305,100 jobs over the month, and by 327,800 jobs over the year, the largest one-month and one-year decreases since the current data series began in 1990. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.7 percent over the month, more than doubling the previous month, and tripling over the year.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had its largest monthly and yearly increases ever in April 2020. The April 2020 rate of 9.7 percent was up by nearly six percentage points from the March 2020 rate of 3.9 percent and 6.5 percentage points from the April 2019 rate of 3.2 percent.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was below the national rate, which was 14.7 percent in April 2020.
The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 292,690 in April 2020, up by 171,103 from March’s 109,616.
Under normal circumstances, an increase in the unadjusted rate from March to April would be highly unusual, but COVID-19 resulted in unprecedented economic fluctuations. The rapidly changing economic situation will likely continue to evolve and be reflected in next month’s jobs report.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment was 2,574,000 in April 2020, down by 305,100 from the revised March figure. Federal government (+200) and mining & logging (unchanged) saw less change than most sectors. Goods-producing industries lost 46,000 jobs over the month, and service-providing industries lost 259,100 jobs. Among goods-producing industries, durable goods manufacturing was hit the hardest, losing 26,700 jobs. Employment in construction decreased by 11,000, while non-durable manufacturing had a loss of 8,300 jobs.
Among service-providing industries, accommodation & food services had the largest decrease, losing 110,700 jobs. Trade, transportation & utilities lost 42,600 jobs over the month. Professional & business services lost 29,500 jobs, and educational & health services lost 18,400 jobs. In the public sector, local government employment was down by 11,100, and state government lost 2,600 jobs.
Payroll employment decreased by 327,800 jobs from April 2019 to April 2020. Only federal government (+1,100) saw an increase, helped in part by hiring for the federal census. Goods-producing industries lost 47,100 jobs over the year, and service-providing industries lost 280,700 jobs. Manufacturing employment was down by 38,000 (-13.7 percent), while construction, less severely affected because most work was outside, lost 9,000 jobs (-7.1 percent).
Among service-providing industries, leisure & hospitality lost 152,100 jobs (-49.4 percent) over the year, shedding nearly half its employment. Trade, transportation & utilities lost 45,000 jobs (-8.3 percent), while employment in professional & business services was down by 27,800 (-7.3 percent). Educational & health services lost 21,500 jobs (-4.5 percent). Government employment decreased by 12,900 jobs, (-3.0 percent), with losses of 12,400 jobs in local government and 1,600 jobs in state government.