Missouri unemployment rate drops slightly in April

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

After nine consecutive months of increases, April saw a slight decrease in Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, according to a report released Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. But the state is still registering significant losses in nonfarm payroll jobs.

At 8.1 percent, unemployment decreased six-tenths of a point from March, but the state still reported less than the usual seasonal gains expected in April. Both goods-producing and service-providing industries recorded significant losses. Manufacturing companies shed 2,300 jobs, while administrative and support services let go of 1,000 employees. Retail outlets cut 1,700 jobs and the leisure and hospitality industry laid off 2,300 workers.

Conversely, the construction industry saw a spike in employment, as companies recalled over 1,000 workers after recent layoffs. Meanwhile, with hiring for the 2010 Census underway, the federal government has created as many as 1,100 new jobs, the release states.

The report further indicates little change in employment rates for Missouri’s metropolitan areas, but attributes Kansas City’s loss of 5,800 jobs to the recent layoffs in the automobile industry. Overall, 242,900 Missourians were unemployed as of April 2009.

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