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Springfield MSA, national unemployment rates improve

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The Springfield metropolitan statistical area and national unemployment rates fared better in recent months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Local levels
The five-county Queen City area’s jobless rate was 3.3 percent in April, according to data released this week by the BLS.

That’s an improvement from 3.5 percent in March, according to a news release.

Missouri’s metro areas, in order of the April unemployment rates, are:
    •    Columbia, 2.5 percent, down from 2.7 percent in March;
    •    Jefferson City, 3.1 percent, down from 3.3 percent;
    •    Springfield, 3.3 percent, down from 3.5 percent;
    •    Joplin, 3.6 percent, down from 3.7 percent;
    •    Kansas City, 3.6 percent, down from 4.2 percent;
    •    St. Joseph, 3.6 percent, down from 3.9 percent;
    •    Cape Girardeau, 3.8 percent, down from 4.2 percent; and
    •    St. Louis, 3.8 percent, down from 4 percent.

Missouri’s unemployment rate in April was 3.7 percent, down from 4.2 percent in March. The BLS data is not seasonally adjusted.

Compared with the same month a year earlier, April unemployment rates were down in 322 of the 388 metro areas tracked by the BLS, up in 46 and unchanged in 20, according to the release.

Across the nation
The U.S. unemployment rate in May moved down to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent in April, according to a separate BLS release issued this morning.

April’s unemployment rate was a 10-year low.

During May, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 jobs. That compares with a 211,000-job increase in April.

Nationwide job increases were led by:
    •    professional and business services, at 38,000;
    •    food services and drinking places, at 30,000;
    •    health care, at 24,000; and
    •    mining, at 7,000.

Other major industries, including construction and manufacturing, were roughly flat, according to the release.

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