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March 10, 2021

January 2021 Monthly Jobs Report

(NOTE: Employment and unemployment estimates for 2020 and previous years have been revised to an updated benchmark.)

Missouri non-farm payroll employment increased in January 2021, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point. Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 5,900 jobs over the month, but over-the year job losses were back above 100,000 following benchmark adjustments to 2020 estimates. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in January 2021, down from 4.4 percent in December 2020.


Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point in January 2021, dropping to 4.3 percent from a benchmarked December 2020 rate of 4.4 percent. Missouri’s unemployment rate was below the national rate of 6.3 percent in January.

Due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the January 2021 rate was 0.7 percentage points higher than the January 2020 rate. The rate had reached a low of 3.1 percent starting in July 2018, before gradually edging up to 3.5 percent by the end of 2019, and then to 3.7 percent in March 2020. The COVID-19 effect hit in April 2020, spiking the rate to 12.5 percent for that month. The rate decreased monthly for the rest of 2020, reaching 4.4 percent in December.

Benchmarking revisions caused Missouri’s unemployment rate to be a tenth of a percentage point higher than the national rate in January and February of 2020, so Missouri’s streak of seasonally adjusted unemployment rates below the comparable national rates is now 11 consecutive months.

The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 130,822 in January 2021, down by 4,290 from December 2020’s 135,112.

The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate was 5.1 percent in January 2021, up by 0.5 percentage points from the December 2020 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 4.6 percent. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for January 2021 was 6.8 percent.

A year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.6 percent, and the not-adjusted rate was 4.0 percent.

Read the full report at https://meric.mo.gov/missouri-monthly-jobs-report.

About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.