St. Louis Public Radio News
4:46 pm
Tue August 18, 2009

Mo. jobless rate holds steady

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's unemployment rate held steady for the second month in a row at 9.3 percent.

On average, Missouri lost about 700 non-farming jobs in July, but that number is considered insignificant.

John Fougere is spokesman for the Department of Economic Development.

"It would appear that the data is showing that stabilization of employment is occurring across a number of industries...we don't want to get too ahead of ourselves here, but we need to look obviously at the next few months and see if a trend develops," Fougere said.

Missouri lost 2,000 construction jobs and 3,300 local government jobs in July.

Fougere says, though, the numbers for local government job loss can be deceiving.

"That's often caused when schools release ancillary staff for the summer vacation, and we see an opposite effect in that category when we get into September and October, looking at those months, because then those people are back at work in the school system," Fougere said.

The state gained 1,300 health and social services jobs last month, as well as 3,800 durable goods manufacturing jobs.

Fougere also says employment rose in St. Louis by 3,400 new workers, and rose in Kansas City by 4,500.