Unemployment Data Series
April 2002

Unemployment in Missouri held steady in April. Missouri's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in April, unchanged from March.

From March to April, seasonally adjusted payroll employment in Missouri dropped by 5,900 to 2,685,200 jobs. Construction employment continued to struggle, decreasing in April by 1,600 jobs. Retail Trade was down by 3,100 jobs and government employment was down by 1,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. Manufacturing employment held steady in April.

The national unemployment rate increased to 6.0 percent in April from 5.7 in March. Four of Missouri's neighboring states had lower unemployment rates during the last month. These include Iowa (3.6 percent), Nebraska (3.8 percent), Kansas (4.4 percent) and Oklahoma (4.4 percent).

Chart 1. Unemployment Rates, Seasonally Adjusted.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor

Unemployment levels are not distributed evenly across Missouri, with pockets of high unemployment persisting in several areas (county-level rates are not seasonally adjusted). Counties with high unemployment levels are particularly pervasive in southeast, south central and northeastern Missouri. Thirty-five counties and St. Louis City had unemployment rates that were 6.0 percent or higher.

The highest unemployment rates were found in Wayne (11.8 percent), Douglas (10.7 percent), Madison (10.1 percent), Reynolds (10.1 percent), Stone (10.1 percent), Washington (9.9 percent), Pemiscot (9.8 percent) and Wright (9.6 percent) counties.

Areas of lower unemployment are spread throughout the state with the greatest concentration of low unemployment in April in northwestern and central Missouri counties. Four counties had unemployment rates below 3 percent.

The lowest unemployment rates were found in Nodaway (1.6 percent), Boone (2.1 percent), Atchison (2.6 percent), and Cole (2.6 percent) counties.


Map 1. Unemployment Rates, Seasonally Unadjusted.
Source: Labor Market Information, Missouri Department of Economic Development

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