The Springfield metropolitan statistical area's unemployment rate decreased in February after an increase to start the year, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
The five-county Springfield MSA comprising Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties posted a jobless rate of 3.9% in February, according to a news release. That's down from 4.2% in January and flat from December, according to past reporting.
The Springfield metro joined five other MSAs in Missouri in reporting decreases in February unemployment rates.
The MSAs, ranked by their February unemployment rates, are:
• Columbia, 3.3%, down from 3.8% in January;
• Jefferson City, 3.9%, up from 3.8%;
• Springfield, 3.9%, down from 4.2%;
• Cape Girardeau, 4.2%, down from 4.6%;
• Joplin, 4.2%, down from 4.6%;
• St. Joseph, 4.3%, flat;
• Kansas City, 4.9%, down from 5.1%; and
• St. Louis, 5.1%, down from 5.5%.
Missouri's February unemployment rate of 5% was down from 5.1% in January, according to the release.
Nationally, compared with the same month a year earlier, February unemployment rates were higher in 383 of the 389 metro areas measured by the BLS, lower in four and unchanged in two.
Company commissions locally produced pieces that highlight takeaways of the pandemic.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, discusses an issue she sees in how business is presented to young women. She says because social roles are different for men and women, women can be led to expect an unrealistic work-life balance as business owners.
Randy Bacon, a longtime professional photographer based in downtown Springfield, says preparation before making big decisions helped him transition between important stages in his life. He says his big decisions were ultimately a big leap of faith.
Andrea Petersberg, owner of the Local Bevy, says the appeal of a local store holds a lot of value for people in and outside of Springfield. Petersburg says being a supporting part of the local connection for artists is important for her.
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, shares his story on how he left his job in the corporate world to pursue his dream. Now 60 years old and with signature character to his photography and business, he says he still is a 15-year-old boy with a camera.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, gives her advice for maintaining good relationships with clients. Drawing on her experience working with customers coast to coast, Thomas says equity and fairness are some of the best ways to build trust and respect.
Don Helms, co-owner of Munchie Moe’s, says it's important to know your business and to think ahead of your supply chain. Helms says COVID-19 has changed the way he has experienced business operation. He says foresight is key.
Janet Susdorf, business consultant and founder of Brain Power for Hire, LLC, discusses the importance of adapting and learning from failure. Drawing from the struggles she has faced in her own life as a sixtime cancer survivor, Susdorf talks about when to fight and when to accept change.
Jennifer Charleston, a 20-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and the only female lieutenant in the department, talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about her career in law enforcement and her new position in the department as a liaison to the LGBTQ+ community.
Moving from physical meetings to digital meetings can feel like a barrier, but Mackenzie Scherer, an independent technology business consultant, says it can be an opportunity. Scherer says that with good moderation, a digital meeting experience can make people feel more included in the discussion.
Abby Glenn, development director for Habitat for Humanity, says corporate partners are a huge asset to the work they do. Corporate donation matching programs help individual donors feel they are contributing more and help Habitat for Humanity cover the large costs of their projects.