Missouri October labor market levels show mixed results

October employment in Missouri increased over the month, though job losses relative to the rest of the year remained high. Optimistically, the state’s adjusted unemployment rate has remained either below or equal to the national rate for 68 consecutive months.

Missouri’s labor market for the month of October highlighted improvements, while also serving as a reminder that there is much ground to regain following the initial impact of COVID-19.

The Missouri labor market showed mixed results in October 2020. Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 6,400 jobs over the month, but over-the-year job losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic remained stubbornly high. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points from September 2020 to October 2020, but the civilian labor force decreased more than 16,000.

Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went down by 0.2 percentage points in October 2020, decreasing to 4.6 percent from a revised September 2020 rate of 4.8 percent. Due to lingering layoffs from COVID-19 shutdowns, the October 2020 rate was still 1.2 percentage points higher than the October 2019 rate.

Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now been either below or equal to the national rate for 68 consecutive months. The national unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in October 2020.

The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 137,729 in October 2020, down by 6,083 from September’s 143,812.