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Missouri unemployment rises in August as recovery flattens

By Columbia Daily Tribune
Unemployment claims were up in Missouri in August.

Missouri’s unemployment rate ticked up in August as the recovery from COVID-19-related job losses flattened, the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development reported Wednesday.

The unemployment rate was 7 percent for the month, up from 6.9 percent in July, as seasonally adjusted employment fell by 1,200 jobs during August. There were also more people counted as unemployed because they are looking for work.

Before the pandemic reached the state, total employment exceeded 3 million people and the number of unemployed was less than 110,000. That was in February, when the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent. The rate was 3.2 percent in August 2019.

In August, total employment was about 2.86 million and the number of unemployed stood at 215,249.

The unemployment rate peaked at 10.2 percent in April, when more than 308,000 Missourians were out of work.

Local area unemployment statistics for August have not been released. The national unemployment rate for August was 8.4 percent.

Income supports that helped Missourians who have been put out of work by the pandemic have expired. A $600 federal unemployment supplement included in federal legislation passed in March ended in Missouri on July 25 and a $300 supplement authorized by an executive order signed by President Donald Trump was only enough to pay extra benefits through Sept. 5.