JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri added 7,200 jobs last month but the jobless rate still moved slightly upward.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development reported Monday that Missouri's unemployment rate in March climbed by one-tenth of a point to 9.5 percent. But the state agency says the 7,200 new jobs in the month is the second largest monthly gain since 2007.
The leisure and hospitality sector added 3,000 jobs, in part because a new casino opened in the St. Louis area. Federal government employment climbed by 1,900 because of tax processors and temporary census workers.
Better weather helped landscaping and other outdoor services, which led to a 1,000 job gain in administrative and support services. Construction jobs climbed by 4,100.