Missouri unemployment rate rises to 9.7 percent
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a severe downturn in the nation’s labor market in April 2020. In Missouri, seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 305,100 jobs over the month, and by 327,800 jobs over the year, the largest one-month and one-year decreases since the current data series began in 1990. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.7 percent over the month, more than doubling the previous month, and tripling over the year.
Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had its largest monthly and yearly increases ever in April 2020. The April 2020 rate of 9.7 percent was up by nearly six percentage points from the March 2020 rate of 3.9 percent and 6.5 percentage points from the April 2019 rate of 3.2 percent.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was below the national rate, which was 14.7 percent in April 2020.
The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 292,690 in April 2020, up by 171,103 from March’s 109,616.
The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate was 9.8 percent in April 2020, up from 3.9 percent in March 2020. The corresponding national rate was 14.4 percent.
Under normal circumstances, an increase in the unadjusted rate from March to April would be highly unusual, but COVID-19 resulted in unprecedented economic fluctuations. The rapidly changing economic situation will likely continue to evolve and be reflected in next month’s jobs report. Click here to learn more.
State Departments launch economic recovery efforts
Governor Parson announced the “Show Me Strong” Recovery Plan in April, signaling the start of a gradual economic reopening that will involve agencies across state government. The recovery rests on the core pillars of testing, PPE, health care system capacity and improving the state’s ability to monitor and predict outbreaks.
Since COVID-19 first emerged in Missouri, the Department of Economic Development worked tirelessly to establish new supply chains and aid in the health care response to the pandemic. The Department has also assisted in connecting businesses across the state with assistance as the impacts of the pandemic rippled through the state’s economy.
With the Governor’s announcement of the Show Me Strong Recovery effort, the Department has begun to shift its focus to long term recovery planning, and will work alongside other state and federal agencies and private sector partners to develop recommendations for how state and federal resources can best be directed to assisting Missouri communities, businesses and citizens.
Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development pivots to recovery
The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD) is pivoting from helping with unemployment claims to working with Missourians to skill up and get back to work. Job Center staff will return to helping Missourians find meaningful employment, refresh their resumes, find training opportunities, and understand available benefits.
Staff will also recruit for contact tracing, and other employment opportunities directly supporting Missouri’s COVID-19 response. As part of the department’s Return Strong recovery efforts, MDHEWD will highlight short-term training opportunities offered through Missouri’s higher education institutions.
For resources and more information on how MDHEWD is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.