Kansas City economy rebounds as unemployment rates drop in Missouri | KCUR 89.3


Unemployment rates in Missouri have fallen significantly over the past year, a sign that the economy is recovering from a slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that September unemployment rates in eight of the Missouri metropolitan areas were down from the rates at the same time last year.

Frank Lenk, director of research services for the Mid-America Regional Council, said the numbers show the economy continues to rebound.

“The economy is recovering most of the jobs lost during the pandemic and in Kansas City, nearly 90% of the jobs that were recovered were lost during the height of the pandemic,” Lenk said . “So these numbers reflect a continuation for Kansas City.”

The Missouri Business Alert reported that Kansas City’s unemployment rate was 3.5% in September, down nearly 2% from a year ago. St. Louis also saw a significant drop, dropping from 2.4% to 3.3%. Colombia’s unemployment rate was the lowest among metropolitan areas in Missouri at 1.8%, down 1.5%.

Connor giffin

The Missouri Business Alert reports that September unemployment rates fell significantly from last year in eight Missouri subways.

Another sign of an economic recovery is marked by US employers created 531,000 jobs in October, according to Labor Department data. But as labor market participation rates stagnate, many companies struggle with labor shortages and supply chain issues.

Lenk said one of the main factors preventing people from returning to the workforce is child care, as beneficiaries have declined during the pandemic. He said two-thirds of people who were in the workforce, but are no longer, are women.

Another factor, he said, is a shift in priorities for many workers. More power has shifted from employers to employees as companies struggle to fill positions.

“Workers are reassessing what it means for them to work and changing jobs. They are quitting like crazy, to find something that better suits the lifestyle they would like to have, ”said Lenk.

These labor and supply chain shortages come as the demand for goods and services has increased dramatically. Lenk said that after the COVID-19 vaccine became readily available, more people felt safe spending the money they had saved.

This inflation leads to empty shelves, higher wages and higher costs, according to Lenk. However, he said rising wages could put more people back into the workforce.

“We’re still convinced that these supply shortages and price increases that people are experiencing right now are starting to slow down a bit,” Lenk said. “It will probably take about a year for this to fully unfold, but by then, next year, we expect things to feel more normal for people.”


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