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U.S unemployment rate drops to 3.8% in February


The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 3.8% in February, with the country adding 678,000 jobs, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

It's a sign of continuing recovery as the country starts to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and the omicron wave that set records this winter. State numbers for January won't be ready until later this month, but the latest Missouri figures from December show the state had a 3.9% unemployment rate.

For Columbia, the unemployment rate in December was 1.9%, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Jefferson City's rate was 2%.

Toby Epstein, owner of Shakespeare's Pizza, said that the pandemic was difficult for his business.

"It's been a tough couple of years, the last year staffing wise has been kinda difficult," Epstein said.

Officials say the job gains are primarily being seen in hospitality, professional and business services, health care and construction.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the job market all across the U.S. In April 2020, the unemployment rate reached 14.8%.

Epstein said things are starting to look up.

"Recently we kinda have gotten ahead of things and our staffing is at a good spot at the moment," Epstein said.

In February, job growth happened in leisure and hospitality, adding 179,000 jobs with 124,000 jobs of those jobs in bars and restaurants.

Epstein says that Shakespeare's Pizza is still currently hiring but it is not as great of a need as it was during the pandemic. He says that his business has recovered in many ways.

"We really had a tough time in 2020, 2021 was tough for staffing but into this new year we are off to a good start, business is going well and we are staffed at the moment which is a good thing," Epstein said.

The U.S. Department of Labor says that 90% of the jobs that were lost in the pandemic have been recovered.

Article Topic Follows: Economy

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Erika McGuire

Erika McGuire originally comes from Detriot. She is a reporter and weekend anchor on ABC 17 News.


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