Missouri non-farm payroll employment increased from June 2021 to July 2021, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point. Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 15,000 jobs over the month, with job gains in both goods-producing and service-providing industries.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in July 2021, down from 4.3 percent in June 2021. Recovery from COVID-19-related layoffs continued with an increase of more than 83,900 jobs from July 2020 to July 2021. Short-term shortages of semiconductor chips may hold down employment in manufacturing in the next few months and the emergence of the delta variant of COVID-19 may impact longer-term growth.
Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point in July 2021, dropping to 4.2 percent from the June 2021 rate of 4.3 percent. With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic now more than a year in the past, the July 2021 rate was 2.6 percentage points lower than the July 2020 rate. The rate had reached a low of 3.1 percent starting in July 2018, before gradually edging up to 3.5 percent by the end of 2019, and then to 3.7 percent in March 2020. The COVID-19 effect hit in April 2020, spiking the rate to 12.5 percent for that month.
The rate decreased monthly for the rest of 2020, reaching 4.4 percent in December, and continued gradually downward through the first four months of 2021. The increase of two-tenths of a percentage point from April 2021 to June 2021over the last two months appeared to be related to a temporary shortage in the supply of semiconductor chips, which caused production slowdowns in some manufacturing industries.
Due to benchmark revisions, Missouri’s unemployment rate rose a tenth of a percentage point higher than the national rate in January and February of 2020, but has been below the national rate for every month since February 2020. The national unemployment rate decreased from 5.9 percent in June 2021 to 5.4 percent in July 2021. The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 128,685 in July 2021, down by 4,639 from June’s 133,324.
The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate also decreased in July 2021, dropping by 1.2 percentage points to 3.9 percent from the June 2021 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 5.1 percent.
The decrease resulted from the recall of manufacturing workers from short-term layoff. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for July 2021 was 5.7 percent.
A year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 6.8 percent, and the not-adjusted rate was 7.3 percent.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment was 2,835,700 in July 2021, up by 15,000 from the revised June 2021 figure. However, the June 2021 total was revised downward by 2,700 from the preliminary estimate, producing a revised increase of 1,500 jobs from May 2021 to June 2021 and a revised increase of 131,100 jobs from June 2020 to June 2021.
Goods-producing industries gained 800 jobs over the month, in manufacturing, with gains in both durable and non-durable goods and electronics manufacturing. These gains were enough to offset an employment loss in motor vehicle manufacturing, which was hampered by a shortage of semiconductor chips for on-board computers. Meanwhile, service-providing industries gained 14,200 jobs between June and July 2021, with increases in leisure & hospitality (+3,500 jobs) and professional & business services (+3,100 jobs). Government employment showed an increase of 6,700 jobs over the month.
Total payroll employment increased by 83,900 jobs from July 2020 to July 2021, reflecting the recovery from job cuts brought on by the initial wave of COVID-19 infections. All but one of the major private-sector industry groups shared in the increases, with the largest gain in leisure & hospitality (+29,400 jobs), followed by professional and business services (+20,200 jobs), educational & health services (+18,000 jobs), and trade, transportation & utilities (+9,400 jobs). The sole private-sector exception was financial activities, which lost 3,800 jobs. Government employment decreased over the year, with a loss of 100 jobs concentrated in federal and local government.