Missouri recorded a year-end unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in December 2014, down from 6 percent a year earlier. Meanwhile, unemployment in Kansas was 4.2 percent, down from 4.9 percent in December 2013.
The new estimates, posted Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, put the two states among 46 states and the District of Columbia that had lower joblessness rates at the end of 2014 than at the end of 2013.
Nationally, the unemployment rate slipped 1.1 percentage points over the year to 5.6 percent in December. That indicates that Missouri and Kansas had lower unemployment rates than the national average, but their comparative improvements were smaller over the year.
The unemployment numbers come from a monthly household survey. The government’s companion survey of employers, or “establishments,” showed job growth in all 50 states over the year.
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Preliminary data for December 2014 listed 2,793,300 employees on nonfarm payrolls in Missouri, an increase of 45,000 compared with December 2013. For Kansas, the report listed 1,395,500 employees on nonfarm payrolls in December, 12,800 more than a year earlier.
All figures were calculated on a seasonally adjusted basis, which takes into account usual fluctuations in the job market over a year.