Jobs continue to grow with unemployment at near-record lows in July

Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has remained at 3.3 percent for the past five months. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique used to measure and remove influences of predictable seasonal patterns to show how employment and unemployment change monthly. The number of jobs in the state continue to rise, while the unemployment rate remains low. Over the past year, employment has grown by 34,700 jobs. Missouri sees over-the-year job gains across key industries. Health Care and Social Assistance (+12,200 jobs, up 2.9 percent)Accommodation and Food Services (+5,500 jobs, up 2.1 percent)Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (+3,900 jobs, up 2.4 percent) Missouri continues to be one of the most affordable places to work and live, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s quarterly Cost of Living (COL) survey. The overall index for the first quarter of 2019 came in at 87.1, significantly lower than the national average of 100 and fourth lowest in the nation. Particularly notable is Missouri’s housing, which is the second lowest in the country. The index, which has been published since 1968, evaluates grocery, housing, utility, transportation, health, and miscellaneous good and service costs from participating cities and metropolitan areas across the country.COL data is used in a variety of ways, including analyses of the best cities to work and live in, as reported in this article by SmartAsset. The article features St. Louis as one of the top 10 American cities to work in the technology field, due in part to its low cost of living and concentration of technology employment. Additionally, Missouri came in seventh in a recent U.S. News list of the 10 most affordable states. To read more about the COL index, visit MERIC’s Cost of Living Data Series webpage

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