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Labor Force Dwindles in Missouri

The unemployment rate may be at its lowest level since 2008 in Missouri. However, the number of people within the labor force has also dropped.

The unemployment rate may be at its lowest level since 2008 in Missouri. However, the number of people within the labor force has also dropped.

Employment in the state increased by 21,100 jobs in January and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent, according to a short press release sent out on Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Soon after the announcement, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said the state "added more than 21,000 new jobs" in January, in a prepared statement.

The economic development department did not respond to numerous requests for more information about unemployment numbers. Therefore, Missouri Journal filed a Sunshine Law request on Wednesday to receive the data.

The department complied on Thursday.

The increase of 21,100 seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payrolls is compared to December.

Compared to January of last year, payrolls dropped by 4,100, according to the data

Meanwhile, the civilian labor force dropped 11,027 compared to December and 11,532 compared to January of last year. To be considered unemployed, a person must be actively seeking employment.

Missouri also ranked fourth for the largest increase in initial weekly unemployment insurance claims for last week, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday.

Initial claims increased by 438 in Iowa, 285 in North Carolina, 81 in New Mexico and 56 in Missouri.

Nationally, unemployment claims dropped by 2,000 to 351,000 last week.

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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