These numbers are hovering around a 49 year low nationally and are even lower in the Cape/Jackson metro and all of our surrounding counties.
Of course I’m talking about unemployment rates. June figures were just released for the U. S. and the rate actually rose slightly from a 49 year low of 3.6% to 3.7%. The state of Missouri has a 3.3% rate. The Cape/Jackson metro has a 2.9% unemployment rate – well below state and national rates. All of our area counties are below national numbers with Perry County leading the way at 2.3%, Cape County at 2.8%, Scott at 3.2%, and Bollinger at 3.6%.
As a reminder, unemployment rates represent the number of people actively seeking employment and not currently regularly employed. It is not a measurement of underemployed individuals or those who have pulled themselves out of the workforce.
So, you might ask if these numbers are positive or negative. I would answer – yes. Let me explain. Current conditions are positive for workers. Certainly numbers this low suggest the market is good for those seeking employment. It does not mean everyone is happy with the jobs they can find, but there are lots of opportunities. However, for employers or new business interests, the numbers suggest a tight labor market resulting in difficulty hiring for many different positions.
I think we can all agree lower unemployment numbers are better overall for our people and our economy.