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Labor Force Drops, Layoffs Increase

Even though the unemployment rate is lower, layoffs across Missouri are on the rise and the number of workers in the labor force is down.

Even though the unemployment rate is lower, layoffs across Missouri are on the rise and the number of workers in the labor force is down.

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent during Feburary, down from 7.5 percent in January, according to a release by the Missouri Department of Economic Development

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon cited the 2,300 increase in nonfarm payrolls in a statement. "It's clear that our relentless focus on creating jobs and growing our economy is beginning to pay off," Nixon said. 

The statement and the release, however, did not include the labor force numbers. Therefore, Missouri Journal filed a Sunshine Law request again this month to receive the employment data.

The data shows the labor force fell by 9,618 in February. To be considered unemployed, a person must be actively seeking employment.

Mass layoffs, meanwhile, are increasing in Missouri. Even with around a week left until April starts, the number of workers who have received layoff notices so far this month has increased by 23.5 percent.

According to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filings posted online, employers across the state have filed seven notices, affecting 758 workers, this month compared to seven notices, affecting 614 workers, in February. In January, three notices were filed, impacting 229.

The WARN Act requires employers to provide a 60-day notice in advance of any mass layoffs.

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missourijournal.com, (314) 482-7944

Hook is editor of Missouri Journal, which tracks the economy across the Show-Me State

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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