Missouri non-farm payroll employment increased from August 2021 to September 2021, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a two-tenths of a percentage point. Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 7,500 jobs over the month, with job gains in service-providing industries. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in September 2021, down from 4.0 percent in August 2021. Recovery from COVID-19-related layoffs continued with an increase of 70,800 jobs from September 2020 to September 2021.
Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a two-tenths of a percentage point in September 2021, dropping to 3.8 percent from the August 2021 rate of 4.0 percent. With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic now more than a year in the past, the September 2021 rate was 1.6 percentage points lower than the September 2020 rate. The rate had reached a low of 3.1 percent starting in August 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 2021 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 5.2 percent in August 2021 to 4.8 percent in September 2021. The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 118,110 in September 2021, down by 4,992 from August’s 123,102.
The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate also decreased in September 2021, dropping by 0.6 percentage points to 2.9 percent from the August 2021 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 3.5 percent. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for September 2021 was 4.6 percent.
A year ago, the state's seasonally adjusted rate was 5.4 percent, and the not-adjusted rate was 4.8 percent.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment was 2,846,000 in September 2021, up by 7,500 from the revised August 2021 figure. However, the August 2021 total was revised downward by 900 from the preliminary estimate, producing a revised increase of 6,400 jobs from July 2021 to August 2021 and a revised increase of 72,500 jobs from August 2020 to August 2021.
Goods-producing industries lost 3,500 jobs over the month, with declines in both construction and manufacturing. In manufacturing, losses were concentrated in durable goods. Meanwhile, service-providing industries gained 11,000 jobs between August and September 2021, with increases in professional & business services (+4,500 jobs), trade, transportation and utilities (+4,500 jobs), leisure & hospitality (+3,100 jobs), and education and health services (+1,500 jobs). Government employment showed a decrease of 1,100 jobs over the month.
Total payroll employment increased by 70,800 jobs from September 2020 to September 2021, reflecting the recovery from COVID-19 related job cuts last year. Most of the major private-sector industry groups shared in the increase, with the largest gain in leisure & hospitality (+29,300 jobs), followed by professional & business services (+23,500 jobs), trade, transportation & utilities (+12,000 jobs), educational & health services (+11,100 jobs), manufacturing (+5,200 jobs), and mining, logging and construction (+1,300 jobs).
Declines in private-sector employment were in financial activities (-7,900 jobs) and information (-2,500 jobs). Government employment decreased over the year, with a loss of 2,300 jobs concentrated in federal government.