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November 17, 2021

October 2021 Monthly Jobs Report

Missouri non-farm payroll employment increased from September 2021 to October 2021, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by one-tenth of a percentage point. Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 3,500 jobs over the month, with job gains in both goods-producing and service-providing industries. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in October 2021, down from 3.8 percent in September 2021. Recovery from COVID-19-related layoffs continued with an increase of 72,300 jobs from October 2020 to October 2021.


Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by one-tenth of a percentage point in October 2021, dropping to 3.7 percent from the September 2021 rate of 3.8 percent. The October 2021 rate was 1.3 percentage points lower than the October 2020 rate. 

The national unemployment rate decreased from 4.8 percent in September 2021 to 4.6 percent in October 2021. The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 114,556 in October 2021, down by 3,495 from September’s 118,051. 

The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate also decreased in October 2021, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point to 2.8 percent from the September 2021 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 2.9 percent. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for October 2021 was 4.3 percent.  

A year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 5.0 percent, and the not-adjusted rate was 4.0 percent. 

Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had reached a low of 3.1 percent starting in August 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, and continued gradually downward through the first four months of 2021. The increase of two-tenths of a percentage point from April 2021 to June 2021 appeared to be related to a temporary shortage in the supply of semiconductor chips, which caused production slowdowns in some manufacturing industries. 

Due to benchmark revisions, Missouri’s unemployment rate rose a tenth of a percentage point higher than the national rate in January and February of 2020, but has been below the national rate for every month since February 2021. 


Missouri’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment was 2,851,500 in October 2021, up by 3,500 from the revised September 2021 figure. The September 2021 total was revised upward by 2,000 from the preliminary estimate, producing a revised increase of 9,500 jobs from August 2021 to September 2021 and a revised increase of 72,800 jobs from September 2020 to September 2021. 

Goods-producing industries gained 1,700 jobs over the month. Manufacturing gained 3,200 jobs, concentrated in durable goods. Service-providing industries gained 1,800 jobs between September and October 2021, with increases in professional & business services (+2,800 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,800 jobs); and education and health services (+100 jobs). Government employment showed no change over the month.

Total payroll employment increased by 72,300 jobs from October 2020 to October 2021, reflecting the recovery from COVID-19 related job cuts last year. Most of the major private-sector industry groups shared in the increase, with the largest gain in leisure & hospitality (+28,200 jobs), followed by professional & business services (+22,100 jobs); trade, transportation, & utilities (+12,300 jobs); manufacturing (+11,600 jobs), and educational & health services (+8,900 jobs). Declines in private-sector employment were in financial activities (-7,900 jobs) and information (-2,100 jobs). Government employment decreased over the year, with a loss of 1,500 jobs overall with the largest loss concentrated in federal government (-2,200).

See the full Jobs Report here