JEFFERSON CITY _ Employment in October increased in Missouri's metropolitan areas, while unemployment rates statewide were generally about the same or slightly lower than in September, the Department of Economic Development said.
Locally, the unemployment rates dropped slightly for the most part.
The unemployment rate for the Sikeston/Scott County area was 4.8, dropping from 5.0 in September. A year ago, the unemployment rate in the county was 5.9 percent.
An unemployment rate of 4.6 percent was recorded for Stoddard County. In September, the county's unemployment rate was 4.8 percent while a year ago the rate was recorded at 5.3 percent.
Mississippi County registered the next lowest unemployment rate at 5.8 percent in October, which was the same rate as the previous month. A year ago in Mississippi County, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent.
New Madrid County posted an unemployment rate of 6.0 percent, dropping 4 percent from the previous month and from 7.1 percent a year ago. In Pemiscot County, the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent compared to 7.2 percent in September and 7.7 percent a year ago.
Non-farm payrolls grew in all seven of the state's metropolitan areas despite a dip of 4,700 jobs reported statewide in October. Since January, more than 27,000 new jobs have been created in Missouri.
jobs in October. Seasonal gains in local government were responsible for an increase of 3,100 jobs, as local school districts reached full employment for the fall semester. In the private sector, retailers began gearing up for the holiday season by adding 2,900 jobs. Health care and social assistance employment increased by 1,300 jobs. These gains were partly offset by a loss of 2,700 leisure and hospitality jobs. Some of this decrease was seasonal but high fuel costs probably further cut into travel and tourism. The goods-producing industries were relatively unchanged, although durable goods manufacturing did add 700 jobs.
In the Missouri portion of the Kansas City metropolitan area, employment was up by 1,200. Most of the increase was seasonal, with gains in local schools, private education and retail trade.
Employment increased by 1,400 jobs over the month in Columbia with seasonal gains primarily in higher education. Increases in the other metropolitan areas were smaller: 600 jobs in Jefferson City, 400 jobs each in Joplin and Springfield and 100 jobs in St. Joseph.
Over the past year, most metro areas experienced some employment growth. Columbia had the largest percentage increase (2.8 percent) fueled by a 3.5 percent increase in private service-providing industries.
Springfield employment grew by 1.6 percent, including a 5 percent increase in government and 2.8 percent in private educational and health services jobs. In Kansas City, a 6.7 percent rise in construction and natural resources jobs helped employment grow by 0.7 percent. St. Louis employment grew by 0.6 percent, primarily aided by a 2.8 percent increase in educational and health service employment and a 2.2 percent increase in professional and business services jobs.
Trade, transportation and utilities employment was up by 4.9 percent in Jefferson City, causing employment there to rise by 0.5 percent overall. Joplin employment grew by 0.3 percent, aided by an 11.3 percent increase in local government jobs including public schools. Employment in the St. Joseph area was unchanged over the year, however, private service-providing industry jobs there increased by 1.2 percent.
Earlier this month, the Missouri Department of Economic Development reported that the state's unemployment rate (unadjusted) dipped a tenth of a point to 4.5 percent. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5 percent, one-tenth of a point higher than the September rate. Unemployment rates held steady in the metropolitan areas as well.
The unemployment rate for the Columbia (3.0) and Jefferson City (3.6) metros remained the same in October. In St. Louis, the rate dropped by two-
tenths of a point to 4.7 percent, while one-tenth of a point decreases were recorded in Joplin (4.1), Kansas City (5.1) and St. Joseph (4.7). The October rate in Springfield was one-tenth of a point higher than it had been the month before at 3.7 percent.
Kennett was the only micropolitan area in which unemployment changed by more than two tenths of a point in October, as the rate fell to 5.9 from 6.5 percent in September. Kennett still had the highest rate among micropolitan areas while Maryville had the lowest (2.8 percent).
Unemployment rates in counties not in metropolitan or micropolitan areas ranged from 3.2 percent in Knox and Worth Counties to 8.2 percent in Linn County.