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Revised 2023 Jobs Data shows some positive trends

Last week, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) released the January 2024 jobs report for the state and with-it annual revisions to 2023 estimates. There were some positive trends to watch in our region.

Each month, labor data is reported at both a national level and later at the State and local level as one of many economic metrics for the region. Headlines often focus on the unemployment numbers which is often reported as a percentage of the overall labor force.

While unemployment is certainly an important metric to track and measure, it’s also important to provide context to the information with the broader information provided. For 2023, the Cape Girardeau – Jackson MSA saw our Unemployment increase from a seasonally adjusted 2.5% in January to 3.0% in December. This percentage reflected an estimate of 1,459 unemployed persons in the region in December.

While certainly something to keep an eye on, a positive note for the region is that total employment increased by 697 during that same period indicating more jobs and people with work in December than there were in January. Additionally, the overall estimated labor force grew by 969 people, a 2% increase in the total workforce available.

Growing the overall workforce is a critical part of helping to grow the region, between recruitment and retention of talent and helping to remove barriers for individuals to return to the workforce the growth of our region in 2023 is an overall positive for the year.