The unemployment rate throughout the region and the majority of the state of Missouri increased greatly at the end of the last calendar year. This could be due to the state’s economic recovery from layoffs and business closures during the coronavirus pandemic could be slowing. A total of 51,700 residents filed for initial unemployment claims in December. Data from the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has revealed that Cape Girardeau County’s unemployment rate went up by 1.9 percentage points in December, after remaining at 3.3 percent in both October and November. The county’s unemployment rate for December was 5.2 percent. In addition, the total number of first-time unemployment claims files in Cape County also went up from 355 filed in November to 527 filed in December. Much of the same proved to be true in surrounding areas in the region. Perry County’s December unemployment rate went up by 1.5 percent from 2.7 percent in November to 4.2 percent in December with 99 initial unemployment claims. There was an even bigger unemployment percentage rise in Scott County from 3.7 percent to 5.8 percent with 345 total claims filed.