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St. Louis unemployment rate rises slightly to 4.8%

St. Louis unemployment rate rises slightly to 4.8%

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Urban League, AT&T partner to boost local employment

Jomo Castro, regional director of External Affairs at AT&T Missouri, left, Ebony Williams, associate director of Technology at AT&T Missouri, and Quentin Wynne, an applicant, speak after Wynne received a second interview with AT&T at the job fair on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Photo by Lexi Browning, lbrowning@post-dispatch.com

The St. Louis area's unemployment rate rose in June for the first time this year, but it remains well below the national rate.

The metro area's jobless rate, as seasonally adjusted by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, ticked up to 4.8% last month from 4.7% in May. The increase happened in a month when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the region had a net loss of 1,700 jobs.

Unemployment also rose nationally in June, to 5.9% from 5.8%.

Unemployment in St. Louis was as low as 3.2% in the months before the coronavirus pandemic, but it spiked to 13.4% in April 2020. The rate then fell rapidly last summer as businesses were allowed to reopen.

For perspective, the local unemployment rate is the same as it was in November 2015, more than six years into the recovery from the 2008-2009 recession.

The BLS counted 78,232 metro area residents as unemployed last month, up more than 10,000 from May but 65,489 fewer than in June 2020. The area's labor force — the total number of people working or seeking a job — has grown by 13,903, or nearly 1%, in the past year.

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