Joplin unemployment falls to record low in June

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Aug. 3—Joplin unemployment hit a record low in June of 2.6%.

That is the lowest it has been since at least 1990, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

MERIC reported that there were 2,198 people unemployed in June in the Joplin metropolitan area of Jasper and Newton counties, out of a total civilian labor force of 84,824.

Pam Regan, one-stop coordinator with the Job Centers in Joplin and Monett, called it a "buyer's market," meaning there are more jobs available than there are people looking for work, and that when people coming in to job fairs looking for work they often leave with multiple offers.

She said they currently have 941 positions at 500 different jobs that are open.

The previous low for the Joplin metro area was 2.7% over for a five-month stretch in the summer and fall of 2018, before the pandemic. Unemployment remained low until April 2020, when it spiked to more than 11% as businesses and other activity shut down because of COVID-19. Before the pandemic, the previous high in Joplin had been 8.8% in 2010, during a recession.

Missouri unemployment also hit a record low last month, falling to 2.8%, according to MERIC. The state estimated there were 84,942 unemployed Missourians in June 2022, down by 11,519 from May's 96,461.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said in a tweet that it is "the lowest in Missouri's history since this data series started in 1976."

The previous state low was 2.9% for a three-month period in 2019.

The rates are seasonally adjusted, meaning they reflect seasonal trends, such as construction in the summer and holiday hiring in the winter, and are considered a more accurate reflection of unemployment than unadjusted numbers.

Unemployment numbers around the region include:

—Cape Girardeau: 2.7%.

—Columbia: 2.2%.

—Kansas City: 2.9%.

—St. Joseph: 2.5%.

—St. Louis: 3.2%.

—Springfield: 2.3%.

The unemployment rate for the metro area in Northwest Arkansas, which also includes McDonald County in Missouri, was 2.2% in May; June numbers were not yet available.