Area unemployment drops to 4.9%

Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:04 a.m.

The area’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent for September. The rate was 6 percent in September 2011 and 5.3 percent in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As the unemployment rate continues dropping, the area’s labor force continues growing.

The area’s workforce grew to 238,600, up 4,800 workers from a year earlier. The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses Washington, Benton, Madison and McDonald, Mo., counties.

The state’s unemployment rate also dropped significantly, from 7.7 percent last September to 6.5 percent last month. Unemployment was 7 percent in August.