With the initial wave of COVID-19-related layoffs now more than a year in the past, the six-figure over-the-year job losses that had characterized the Missouri labor market for the last nine months of 2020 and the first three months of 2021 were replaced with an increase of more than 130,000 jobs from June 2020 to June 2021. Missouri non-farm payroll employment increased from May 2021 to June 2021, but the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also increased by a tenth of a percentage point.
Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 4,200 jobs over the month, with job gains in both goods-producing and service-providing industries.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in June 2021, up from 4.2 percent in May 2021. Short-term shortages of semiconductor chips may hold down employment in manufacturing in the next few months.
Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by a tenth of a percentage point in June 2021, rising to 4.3 percent from the May 2021 rate of 4.2 percent. With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic now more than a year in the past, the June 2021 rate was 3.8 percentage points lower than the June 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 over the last two months appears 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 increased from 5.8 percent in May 2021 to 5.9 percent in June 2021. The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 133,380 in June 2021, up by 4,343 from May’s 129,037.
The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate also increased in June 2021, rising by four-tenths of a percentage point to 5.1 percent from the May 2021 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 4.7 percent. The shortage of semiconductor chips was a factor in the increase. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for June 2021 was 6.1 percent.
A year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 8.1 percent, and the not-adjusted rate was also 8.1 percent.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment was 2,823,400 in June 2021, up by 4,200 from the revised May 2021 figure. However, the May 2021 total was revised upward by 1,200 from the preliminary estimate, producing a revised increase of 7,200 jobs from April 2021 to May 2021 and a revised increase of 196,100 jobs from May 2020 to May 2021.
Goods-producing industries gained 200 jobs over the month, in construction and manufacturing, with gains in 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 4,000 jobs between May and June 2021, with increases in professional & business services (+2,700 jobs) and leisure & hospitality (+1,600 jobs) at least partially attributable to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. However, not every major industry group shared in the increase, with educational and health service losing 900 jobs over the month. Government employment showed an increase of 1,600 jobs over the month.
Total payroll employment increased by 133,800 jobs from June 2020 to June 2021, reflecting the recovery from the job cuts brought on by the initial wave of COVID-19 restrictions. All but one of the major private-sector industry groups shared in the increases, with the largest gain in leisure & hospitality (+48,400 jobs), followed by educational & health services (+22,300 jobs), professional and business services (+21,500 jobs), and trade, transportation & utilities (+12,900 jobs).
The sole private-sector exception was financial activities, which lost 3,400 jobs. Government employment also increased over the year, with a gain of 18,100 jobs concentrated in state and local government.