JEFFERSON CITY - The unemployment rate in Missouri drops to the lowest since June 2008 as the holiday season gets underway, according to the Oct. 2014 jobs report.
The report, released by The Department of Economic Development, shows the unemployment rate dropped four tenths of a point from 6.3% to 5.9%.
Missouri's unemployment rate is still higher than the national average, which is 5.8% in October down from 5.9%. Amy Susan, the director of communication for the Department of Economic Development, said decreasing unemployment rates is a national trend.
"Across the country, we're starting to see unemployment rates go down, we're starting to see a lesser need for unemployment claims, those are the benefits people receive if they have been laid off due to no fault of their own, so we're starting to see companies regain that momentum and find ways to be more profitable so that they can hire people and provide good paying jobs, so we're starting to see that again nationwide," Susan said
In October, the state's nonfarm payroll added 2,400 jobs increasing the total growth of nonfarm payrolls to 48,400 jobs during the past year.
Employment in financial activities expanded by 1,500 jobs, while transportation, warehousing and utilities added 1,200 jobs, according to Susan.
She said the growth in employment is partially due to the increase in investments in Missouri.
"In Missouri, we've actually experienced our best year in economic development ever in the state for our history in Missouri, so that's a big deal for us investment-wise and job numbers, this has been a great year for us, so we're starting to not only maintain our business community here but we're also recruiting and attracting the investments from businesses around the country and around the world," Susan said.
The last time the unemployment rate increased was in March 2014, when it rose to 6.7%. Since then, it has slowly shrunk almost a full percent with the largest decrease happening in October.
April saw the first fall in unemployment in 2014 followed by May where the rate remained the same. In June, the rate fell by one tenth of a point. This every other year trend is seen since April, so if it continues, November will see no change in the unemployment rate.
However, the construction industry typically sees a drop in employment due to the winter weather, Susan said.
"We are, as we head into the winter season, as we all know, construction typically they reach their peak in the spring, summer, and fall as we head into winter, more of those folks will, most likely, have to seek alternative work as construction kind of takes a seasonal low at that time," Susan said.