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Springfield unemployment rate drops to pre-COVID levels

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The Springfield metropolitan statistical area's unemployment rate dropped to a level not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released yesterday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Springfield MSA's unemployment rate was 3.4% last month, down from 5.8% in August, according to a news release.

The economic effects of the pandemic first began to impact the local unemployment rate in the BLS' April report, which pointed to an increase to 9.2% from 3.4% in March and 3.2% in February, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. The MSA's unemployment rate has dropped every month since the April peak, the BLS reports.

All of Missouri's eight metro areas posted lower unemployment rates in September compared with August, according to the release.

Missouri’s MSAs, in order of the lowest unemployment rates in September, are:
• Jefferson City, 2.8%, down from 5.8% in August;
• Columbia, 2.9%, down from 5.1%;
• St. Joseph, 3.3%, down from 5.5%;
• Springfield, 3.4%, down from 5.8%;
• Cape Girardeau, 3.9%, down from 6.2%;
• Joplin, 3.9%, down from 6.4%;
• Kansas City, 4.9%, down from 7.3%; and
• St. Louis, 5.5%, down from 8%.

Missouri's unemployment rate in September was 4.3%, down from 7.1% in August, according to the BLS.

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