The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) released the Missouri monthly jobs report for March and it contains a lot of interesting information.
According to the report, Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March decreased to 4.2 percent from 4.3 percent in February. This rate has declined or remained steady each month since April 2020 when the rate spiked at 12.5 percent. The March number is well below the U.S. rate of 6.0 percent.
However, it should be noted the labor force is still a full one percent below where it was just prior to the pandemic. That means there are more than 30,000 fewer Missourians in the labor force in March of 2021 compared to March of 2020.
One very good indicator is Missouri added 15,400 jobs from February to March after having a decrease in jobs from January to February. Missouri remains down more than 100,000 jobs from a year ago which is about 3.5 percent.
All eight of Missouri’s MSA’s are down in job count from a year ago - but recovering. Jefferson City MSA is closest to full employment recovery down only .8 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, St. Louis MSA is down 4.7 percent and Columbia MSA is down 3.7 percent. Our Cape/Jackson MSA is down 2.9 percent, as is St. Joseph.
Let’s stay focused on recovery and take it one day at a time.