COLUMBIA — The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Missouri's 2008 unemployment rate at 7.3 percent Tuesday morning, up two percentage points from the year before.
Rhode Island had the largest over-the-year increase at 4.8 percent.
The Midwest region's 7.5 percent unemployment rate came only second to the West's 8 percent but posted the lowest increase, 0.6 percent, from November to December. The Northeast, which had the highest increase from November, and South each had a 2008 rate of 7 percent.
John Fougere, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development, said more than 26,500 jobs were lost last year, with most coming from durable goods manufacturing.
"Conditions in Missouri are mirroring the national economy," Fougere said.
More specifically, Fougere said the most jobs were lost in the transportation industry, followed by financial organizations and leisure and hospitality.