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Springfield MSA unemployment rate falters

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics late last week reported the November unemployment rate for the Springfield metropolitan statistical area and the December figure for the country.

Springfield MSA
The jobless rate for the area comprising Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties was 2.7 percent in November. That’s an uptick from the 1.9 percent unemployment rate in October. However, it’s down compared with the 3.3 percent rate in November 2016, according to a news release.

All but one of Missouri’s eight MSAs posted unemployment rate increases compared with October.

Missouri’s MSAs, in order of unemployment rates recorded in November, are:
    •    Columbia, 2.3 percent, up from 1.5 percent in October;
    •    Jefferson City, 2.6 percent, up from 1.8 percent;
    •    Springfield, 2.7 percent, up from 1.9 percent;
    •    Joplin, 2.9 percent, up from 2.1 percent;
    •    St. Joseph, 2.9 percent, up from 2.3 percent;
    •    Kansas City, 3.2 percent, unchanged;
    •    Cape Girardeau, 3.4 percent, up from 2.5 percent; and
    •    St. Louis, 3.4 percent, up from 2.7 percent.

Compared with November 2016, the latest unemployment rates were lower in 304 of the 388 metro areas measured by the BLS, higher in 67 and unchanged in 17, according to the BLS.

The BLS data is not seasonally adjusted.

U.S. unchanged
The U.S. unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in December, according to a separate BLS release.

During the month, U.S. employers added 148,000 net nonfarm payroll jobs.

Job increases were led by:
    •    health care, 31,000 new positions;
    •    construction, 30,000;
    •    food services and drinking places, 25,000;
    •    manufacturing, 25,000; and
    •    professional and business services, 19,000.

Partially offsetting the growth was retail trade, which dropped by 20,000 jobs in December. Other major industries — including mining, wholesale trade and government — were unchanged, according to the release.

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