Missouri Unemployment Rates Fall in May

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JEFFERSON CITY - The most recent data report released by the Missouri Department of Economic Development shows an improvement in Missouri's economy, and a lower unemployment rate than the state has seen in two years.

According to the report from the department regarding the state's economy in May, Missouri's unemployment rate was 8.9 percent, slightly lower than the national average of 9.1 percent. The 8.9 percent rate is also the lowest unemployment rate since May 2009, which is also the last time the rate was under 9 percent.

Although Missouri lost 1,500 jobs from April to May, the Missouri Department of Economic Development also suggested that focusing on bigger trends, such as the 18,000 jobs the state has gained in 2011, is actually more indicative of the state's economic situation.

The numbers released in the report were collected prior to the tornadoes that devastated parts of the state, particularly Joplin, so it is likely that the next month's data will be affected by those natural disasters.