Unemployment Data Series

August 2001

Missouri´s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly in August to 4.0 percent from July´s rate of 3.9 percent.

There were approximately 8,700 fewer jobs in August than July in Missouri. The industries suffering the most were wholesale and retail trade (3,500 jobs), construction (2,500 jobs), business services (1,900 jobs), and the electronic and electrical equipment industry (1,000 jobs).

Typical seasonal employment patterns indicate normal increases in unemployment in the summer months. Missouri´s unemployment rate for the year is averaging just below 4 percent.

The national unemployment rate increased to 4.9 percent in August, the highest rate in four years. The manufacturing industry lost 141,000 jobs in August. Waning consumer confidence and slow consumer spending contributes to the increase in unemployment.

Four of Missouri's neighboring states had lower unemployment rates during the past month. These include Nebraska (3.0 percent), Iowa (3.1 percent), Oklahoma (3.3 percent) and Kansas (3.8 percent).

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 the highest unemployment levels are particularly pervasive in southeast and north central Missouri. Twenty-nine counties had unemployment rates that were 6.0 percent or higher.

The highest unemployment rates were found in Linn (10.9 percent), Douglas (10.4 percent), Wayne (9.6 percent), Pemiscot (8.9 percent), Wright (8.6 percent), Reynolds (8.4 percent), Mississippi (8.0 percent) and Dent (8.0 percent) counties.

The greatest concentration of low unemployment in August was in northwestern Missouri counties. Eleven counties had unemployment rates of 3 percent or less. Of those, seven were located in northwest Missouri.

The lowest unemployment rates were found in Nodaway (1.6 percent), Boone (1.8 percent), Harrison (2.3 percent), Platte (2.4 percent), Clay (2.6 percent), Perry (2.6 percent), Greene (2.7 percent), Mercer (2.7 percent), Livingston (2.8 percent), St. Charles (2.8 percent), and Sullivan (3.0 percent) counties.

Chart 1. Unemployment Rates, Seasonally Adjusted, 1999-2000.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor

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

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