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Unemployment rates recovering in NEMO

by Mike Scott

NEMOnews Media Group

Unemployment rates across northeast Missouri have dropped since hitting 2020 highs earlier in the year, when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, according to not-seasonally-adjusted figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Marion County saw a surge in unemployment in April as well, when they hit a 2020 high of 6.9 percent. At that time, 988 of the county’s 14,280 workers were out of work. By September, it had dropped to 3.2 percent.

Lewis County saw their unemployment rate double from March to April, when they posted a 7.2 percent figure.  By May, it had climbed to 7.5 percent, before declining to 2.8 percent in September.

Shelby County’s unemployment rate stood at 4.9 percent in April, up from 4.5 percent in the previous two months.  It peaked at 5.4 percent in August, and dropped to 2.4 percent in September.  Shelby County had a workforce of 3058 in September.

In April, the unemployment rate in Clark County jumped to 10.2 percent, meaning 342 of the county’s workforce of 3350 didn’t have jobs.  By September, the rate had dropped to only 3.4 percent.  

Interestingly, the workforce had also dropped by over 200 workers to 3132.  For comparison, in September 2019, the unemployment rate stood at 2.4 percent in Clark County.

In Knox County, the unemployment rate for the year didn’t peak until August, when 5.1 percent of the county’s workforce of 1789 were out of work.  In September, the rate dropped to 2.4 percent.

In Scotland County, the March’s rate of 3.2 ticked up to 4.4 percent, then dropped for three months before hitting 4.0 percent in August.   In September, it dropped to 1.9 percent.  Scotland County’s September workforce total was 2334.

Sullivan County started 2020 with a 5.0 percent unemployment rate. It fell before jumping 5.9 percent in April, and dropped to 2.7 percent in September.  As of September, Sullivan County has 2669 workers.

Statewide, unemployment hit a high of 9.8 percent in May and June, and by September, that rate had dropped to 4.3 percent.