Missouri nonfarm payroll employment grew by 4,900 jobs in January from the revised December level, while the unemployment rate remained low at 3.7 percent. Employment growth was concentrated in private service-providing sectors, which collectively grew by 5,900 jobs over the month. Professional, scientific and technical services employment was up by 2,800, while health care and social assistance added 2,500 jobs. Other industries with increasing employment included wholesale trade and arts, entertainment and recreation. These gains were partly offset by decreases of in accommodation and food services and in construction.
Over the past year, employers have added 29,400 jobs, increasing nonfarm payroll employment by 1.0 percent. The largest growth was in the professional and business services sectors, which combined to add 12,900 jobs. Health care and social assistance employment was up by 8,800, while manufacturing added 5,100 jobs and leisure and hospitality 3,700 jobs over the year.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in January. The rate has remained low, falling in a narrow band of 3.6 – 3.8 percent since April 2017. The January rate is 0.4 percentage points lower than the year-earlier figure.
For comparison, the seasonally adjusted U.S. rate was 4.1 percent in January. Missouri’s seasonally adjusted rate has now been lower than the comparable national rate for 33 consecutive months.
For the full labor report featuring industries that experienced employment gains and losses over the month click here.