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April Unemployment Rate Drops

May 30, 2012

There is some good news on the employment front.
The Kansas City area’s unemployment rate dropped a full percentage point in April, falling from 7.6 percent to 6.6 percent. We would have to go all the way back to December 2008 to find a lower rate for the metro.
As usual, there is a grain of salt to take with this news. Unemployment rates are seasonal. April is typically a month where we see our unemployment rate drop a bit, so the decline is likely due at least in part to seasonal factors. By way of comparison, one year ago, the unemployment rate stood at 7.8 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics seasonally adjusts the unemployment rates for the nation and for states, but not for metro areas. Comparing apples to apples — using non-seasonally adjusted rates — the national unemployment rate for April was 7.7 percent. Missouri and Kansas fared better, with state unemployment rates of 6.9 and 5.8 percent, respectively.
Seasonal or not, a full percentage point drop in the unemployment rate tells us we’re finally moving back toward a more “normal” range.

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