Missouri’s unemployment rate edged up a tenth of a point to 3.2 percent in January, increasingly slightly from 3.1 percent in the final two months of 2018, though the current rate is still three-tenths of a point lower than the year-earlier value. Missouri’s rate has now been at or below the corresponding U.S. rate, which was 4.0 percent in January, for 46 consecutive months. Missouri nonfarm payroll employment increased by 9,300 jobs from the revised December figure, reaching 2,903,400 in January. In the goods-producing sectors, construction employment was up by 2,600 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. Manufacturing employment was little changed over the month. In the private service-providing sectors, the largest gain was in health care and social assistance (+4,100). Leisure and hospitality employment was up by 2,300, while professional, scientific, and technical services added 1,000 jobs. Over the past year, nonfarm payrolls in Missouri have grown by 23,100 jobs, or 0.8 percent. In the goods-producing sectors, employment was up in both construction (+2,100) and durable goods manufacturing (+5,700).In the private service-providing sectors, employment in health care and social assistance jumped by 9,500. Large employment gains also occurred in accommodation and food services (+7,600) and professional, scientific, and technical services (+6,500).