The state is starting to get creative when it comes to promoting new job creation numbers, despite a dropping number of workers in the labor force.
The latest pitch: Employers throughout the state added more employees during the first quarter than in any of the eight states bordering Missouri.
In Illinois, for example, payrolls increased by 22,000 and the labor force increased by 3,800.
Anticipating that the state would promote the job creation numbers for the first quarter, I compared the number of new jobs added in the first three months to the drop in the labor force last week.
I did not anticipate the state would compare the numbers to the eight states bordering Missouri.
Unfortunately, when I delved back into the data, I discovered that the employment numbers I reported last week were incorrect. The error was all mine, not the state's, and I apologize for the mistake.
According to numbers provided by the economic development department, Missouri added 28,200 jobs during the first quarter and 29,232 workers left the labor force during the same time period.
Why are the federal and state payroll and labor force totals different?
Both reports are seasonally adjusted, but the federal numbers are rounded in the thousands.
People leave the labor force for any number of reasons. However, to be counted as unemployed, even after unemployment benefits run out, a person must continue to actively search for a job.
Citing either the payroll numbers or the labor force data is accurate.
Examining both, though, provides a clearer picture of the state of the economy.