Missouri added about 4,800 jobs in March as its unemployment rate remained steady.
Figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Economic Development show that Missouri's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in March - the same level as in February. That remained below the national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in March.
Residents can weigh in starting today on proposed fare increases for mass transit in St. Louis. The Metro transit agency is considering three options for raising fares this year – one would increase only the costs of weekly, monthly and university semester passes; the second would raise the cost of all passes except day passes; and the third would spread the increase to all fares, including buses and Metrolink.
Missouri's 7.4 percent jobless rate is the lowest it's been in more than three years - but that's bad news for about 9,000 of the state's 112,000 people receiving unemployment benefits.
State lawmakers last year outlasted a determined filibuster by Republican Senator Jim Lembke to approve an additional 20 weeks in benefits - funded entirely by the federal government - for Missouri residents who had been out of work for 79 weeks, or more than a year and a half.
Updated at 4:08 with comments from Attorney General Koster and Darain Atkinson's attorney.
Updated 3:58 with statement from the Better Business Bureau:
“US Fidelis left a trail of dissatisfied consumers from across the United States. Today’s guilty plea by Darain Atkinson in St. Charles County illustrates the risks of unethical business behavior and the importance of the work of groups like the Better Business Bureau in exposing the underhanded practices in our marketplace,” Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO said.
Reporting from KSMU's Jennifer Moore used in this report.
As we mentioned this morning, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will travel to Brazil this month on a trade mission. The trip comes on the heels of the news that Missouri saw its strongest year ever for exports in 2011.