Missouri businesses will have to shell out more money for unemployment taxes next year in order to pay down debt the state owes to the federal government.
Missouri began borrowing federal dollars in 2008 to pay for jobless benefits after an economic downturn drained the state's unemployment benefits trust fund. Brendan Cossette with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that led to the feds levying a surcharge on Missouri businesses to repay the borrowed money.
A new report says Missouri's unemployment rate edged higher last month, while the state gained 6,200 payroll jobs.
The state Department of Economic Development said Tuesday that the August jobless rate was 7.2 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from July.
The report says the biggest increase in jobs was in the government sector. It added 5,700 jobs - including 5,000 for local governments. The agency attributes the gains to the early start to the school year.
The education and health services sector added 1,800 jobs.
Missouri’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in four years.
November’s jobless rate is at 6.7 percent, down from 6.9 percent in October. At the same time, though, the state lost 6,800 non-farm jobs last month. John Fougere is with the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
“There’ll be blips from time to time, but we never focus on any one month of data when it comes to the number of jobs gained or lost, but instead the overall trend," Fougere said. "Right now the overall trend of Missouri’s economy appears to be positive.”