COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Missouri's weekly unemployment numbers increased Thursday for the first time since mid-April.
The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported that 19,071 people applied for unemployment last week, 1,906 more than the 17,165 that applied the week before.
Matt McCormick, president of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, said this one-week increase doesn't concern him, yet.
McCormick said he expected Missouri's numbers to at some point go back up, and he would have to see weeks of increasing numbers before he'd really start to be concerned.
McCormick said he believes a face mask policy in Columbia will ultimately help local unemployment numbers to drop. Columbia Mayor Brian Treece on Thursday said a mask requirement he is supporting is one of the best ways to help the economy recover by slowing down the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Steve Smith, president and CEO of Job Point in Columbia, agreed with the mayor's thoughts and said businesses continued use personal protective gear will be crucial in getting unemployment numbers down.
But Smith said he worries some jobs that were available before this pandemic simply may not be offered anymore.
Smith said Job Point has seen some cases of this already, and he only expects that number to grow.