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October Unemployment Numbers

The latest statistics are out and Cape Girardeau is at or below record numbers for our area.

We recently received October unemployment numbers - as they tend to run about 30 days behind. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), Cape County has a 1.9% unemployment rate. We have a workforce of 40,925 and 40,135 of them are working. Scott County's unemployment rate has dropped to 2.4% and Perry County is at 1.7%.

We understand the discussion concerning the accuracy of defining the workforce for the purpose of determining unemployment. We also understand this number says nothing of underemployment. However, this process is consistent, so the comparisons are valid for drawing some conclusions. These numbers support what we’ve heard from our local businesses - the labor market is tight and getting tighter.

One side effect of a tight labor market is increased wages. Employers tell us this is a very real situation in the Cape / Jackson metro. While this is good for workers, it may bring challenges for employers. As we continue to monitor the health of our local economy, one area we will be keeping a close eye on is inflation.

In addition, at the Chamber, we continue to focus on making sure our youth understand all available options upon graduation from high school through programs like connectCAPE. In the coming year, we will also continue to enhance our website, www.capeishome.com, as we ramp up the recruitment of people to our area.

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