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St. Louis unemployment rate drops to 5.0%

St. Louis unemployment rate drops to 5.0%

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The St. Louis area's unemployment rate was flat in February at 5.0%, the region's best reading since the coronavirus pandemic began last year.

January's metro area jobless rate, as seasonally adjusted by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, was revised down to 5.0% from an earlier estimate of 5.1%. The new figure means St. Louis remains substantially below the national unemployment rate, which was 6.2% in February.

The local jobless rate has fallen from a peak of 11.6% last April, but it's still above the February 2020 reading of 3.5%, which was near a record low.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday that 73,732 metro area residents were unemployed in February, a 47% increase from a year earlier.

The metro area's labor force, a measure of the number of people working or actively seeking a job, fell by 40,123 or 2.7% over the past year.

The unemployment and labor force numbers are based on a survey of households. Based on a separate survey of employers, the BLS said metro St. Louis lost 400 jobs in February and 75,700 jobs in the past year.

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