Missouri Jobs Increase at Slow Pace
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its current snapshot of labor markets across states. While jobs in Missouri have increased since last October, the rate of increase is quite slow.
The table below reports three pieces of information pertinent to assessing the job picture in Missouri. The first two columns of data report the unemployment rate in October of 2014 and 2015. In Missouri, the unemployment rate has fallen, dropping from 5.5 percent to 5.0 percent, the same value as the national average. How does this compare to our neighboring states?
All states in the table below (except Oklahoma) also experienced a decline in their unemployment rate over the past year. What is notable is that some states, such as Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma, have achieved very low rates of unemployment. These values signal very robust labor markets in those states.
The Bureau’s recent release also provides more direct information about job growth. In the last column in the table below I report the percentage change in jobs over the past year (October 2015 data are preliminary.)
This calculation shows that job growth in Missouri has been slow over the past year, increasing at only about a 1 percent rate. Three other neighboring states—Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma—have experienced slower job growth, though Kansas and Oklahoma already have achieved very low unemployment rates. In the remaining states, job growth is notably faster than in Missouri.