Springfield, MO

Missouri in top 20 for unemployment improvement

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Missouri outperformed 33 other states in 2017 in terms of unemployment rate improvement, according to a report issued this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Show-Me State ranked 17th for its year-over-year unemployment rate change to 3.8 percent in 2017. The prior year unemployment came in at 4.6 percent. Topping the list was Alabama, which improved its unemployment rate by 1.5 percentage points, according to a news release.

However, Missouri’s 2017 average jobless rate was the highest in the seven-state West North Central region measured by the BLS. At 2.6 percent, North Dakota had the lowest rate in the region, and Kansas’ 3.6 percent unemployment rate was just ahead of Missouri, according to the release.

Of Missouri’s civilian labor force of 3.1 million in 2017, 115,000 were unemployed. That’s down from 140,000 unemployed residents in 2016, the BLS reports.

The U.S. average unemployment rate improved to 4.4 percent last year from 4.9 percent in 2016.

According to the release, average unemployment rates in 2017 decreased in 32 states and were little changed in 18 states and Washington, D.C.


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