JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.—Missouri’s unemployment rate edged down to 3.6 percent in March, while payroll employment grew by 3,100 jobs.
The unemployment rate is down a tenth of a point from February, equaling the rate that prevailed from July through November of 2017. The last time the rate was lower than 3.6 percent was July 2000.
By comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in March, coming in higher than Missouri’s unemployment rate for the 35th straight month.
The March gain in employment of 3,100 pushed Missouri’s nonfarm payroll employment up to 2,894,200 jobs.
Most reported industry groups grew over the month. The largest increases were in construction (+1,400) and professional, scientific and technical services (+1,000). Smaller gains were spread across a number of other industries. The main exception to the growth trend was in education and health services, where employment was down by 1,200.
Over the past 12 months, Missouri employers added 28,500 jobs, on net, a gain of 1.0 percent. Over-the-year growth was concentrated in the private sector, with only 500 of the 28,500 coming from the public sector.
While, employment was down by 4,300 jobs in accommodation and food services between March 2017 and March 2018, the state saw the largest gains in professional, scientific, and technical services (+9,100); administrative, support, and waste management services (+8,000); health care and social assistance (+6,000); and durable goods manufacturing (+5,000).
For the full labor report featuring industries that experienced employment gains and losses over the month click here.