Missouri non-farm payroll employment increased from April 2021 to May 2021, but the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by a tenth of a percentage point. Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 6,000 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 May 2021, up from 4.1 percent in April 2021.
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 nearly 200,000 jobs from May 2020 to May 2021. Long-term improvement can be expected but short-term shortages of semiconductor chips may hold down employment in manufacturing in the next few months.
Total payroll employment increased by 194,900 jobs from May 2020 to May 2021, reflecting the recovery from the 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 (+74,500 jobs), followed by trade, transportation & utilities (+32,100 jobs), educational & health services (+27,300 jobs) and professional & business services (+19,700 jobs).
The sole private-sector exception was financial activities, which lost 1,700 jobs. Government employment also increased over the year, with a gain of 16,000 jobs concentrated in state and local government.