Thursday, August 4, 2011

St. Louis unemployment

Amid all the bad economic news comes some good news for the St. Louis area.  The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June was 8.9 percent, the first time that it has been below 9 percent since January 2009.  As shown by the chart, the local unemployment rate has been creeping downward since it peaked at 10.6 percent in October 2009. The U.S. unemployment rate stood at 9.2 percent in June.  Steve Giegerich at the Post-Dispatch points out that even though the unemployment rate is the same as in January 2009, this doesn't mean that local labor markets are in the same condition as then.  Specifically, "there are 23,000 fewer people in the local workforce today."  (Note that he reports an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, which differs from mine because of a slightly different seasonal adjustment method.)