Missouri non-farm payroll employment recovered strongly in March 2021 after a loss in February, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point. Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 15,400 jobs over the month.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in March 2021, down from 4.3 percent in February 2021. Job losses over the year, while still severe, decreased from 130,100 in February 2021 to 100,500 in March 2021. Further improvement is expected in the spring as weather conditions improve and as COVID-19 vaccinations become more widely available.
Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point in March 2021, dropping to 4.2 percent from the February 2021 rate of 4.3 percent. Due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the March 2021 rate was 0.5 percentage points higher than the March 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 state’s unemployment rate has declined or remained steady each month since April 2020 and was below the U.S. rate of 6.0 percent in March 2021.
The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 128,920 in March 2021, down by 3,618 from February’s 132,538.
Improved weather helped to push the state’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate down to 4.4 percent in March 2021, eight-tenths of a percentage point lower than the February 2021 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 5.2 percent. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for March 2021 was 6.2 percent.
A year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.7 percent, and the not-adjusted rate was 4.4 percent.