Springfield unemployment rate dropped ahead of coronavirus

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Before the coronavirus pandemic started to cause major hits to the economy, the Springfield metropolitan statistical area's unemployment rate had dropped in February.

The Springfield area's February jobless rate was 3.2%, representing a decrease from 3.8% in January, according to a news release with the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The local MSA comprises Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties.

Missouri’s MSAs, in order of February unemployment rates, are:
• Columbia, 2.5%, down from 3.2% in January;
• Jefferson City, 3.1%, down from 3.6%;
• Joplin, 3.2%, down from 3.8%;
• Springfield, 3.2%, down from 3.8%;
• St. Louis, 3.3%, down from 4%;
• Cape Girardeau, 3.4%, down from 3.8%;
• Kansas City, 3.4%, down from 3.7%; and
• St. Joseph, 3.6%, down from 3.9%.

Compared with the same month of 2019, February unemployment rates were lower in 277 of the 389 metro areas measured by the BLS, higher in 80 and unchanged in 32, according to the release.

Unemployment figures are likely to go up as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on the job market.
They definitely are going up. The U.S. Department of labor this morning reported 6.6 million unemployment insurance claims for the week that ended April 4.

The BLS on April 3 reported the nation's unemployment rate for March rose 0.9 percentage points to 4.4%, according to a news release with the most recent available data.

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