Unemployment Rises

As of the end of January, the unemployment rate in Franklin County was 4.2 percent, and rising.

New county jobless claims that month were 528, down just a few from 536 in December. 

Statewide the unemployment rate is now at 3.5 percent with 3,976 new claims filed the week ending March 14. 

Thus far in March, a total of 6,935 new unemployment claims have been filed with those numbers expected to rise due to layoffs from the coronavirus forcing businesses to close.

In the month of February, 11,305 new claims were received.

Overall, in 2020, 52,852 new claims have been applied for and 7,667 workers’ compensation claims also have been filed.

The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund balance as of Feb. 28, was $1,057,024,505.

County History

According to numbers from the state of Missouri, the highest unemployment rates in Franklin County in the past decade were in June 2009 and again in March 2010.

At those times the unemployment rate was 12.6 percent with new claims totaling 2,341 in both months combined. 

The county unemployment rate was 12.5 percent in March 2009 with 1,304 initial claims.

The lowest unemployment rate since 2008 was September 2019 and October 2018, with both months showing just 2.1 percent unemployment and a combined 485 new claims.

The month of October 2017 had 2.2 percent unemployment with only 200 new claims. 

Overall, the largest number of new unemployment claims in one month since 2008 was 2,358 in December 2008. The least number of claims was 142 in September 2018. 

Neighboring Counties

As of January, the unemployment rate in Warren County was 4.7 percent with 248 new claims that month.

In St. Louis County the unemployment rate for January was 3.8 percent with 4,452 initial claims.

St. Louis city posted a 4.4 percent unemployment rate with 1,157 new claims.

Moving south to Jefferson County, the unemployment rate in January was 4.1 percent with 1,056 new claims and St. Charles County reported 1,686 new unemployment claims equating to a 3.7 percent rate.


As of February 2020, the Missouri Department of Labor reported 17,381 males and 21,727 females were unemployed statewide in Missouri.

The highest age group was 35 to 44 with 6,263 claims, the lowest was the age 22 to 24 group.

The largest trade group requesting unemployment benefits was construction with 6,182 claims. The lowest was utilities with 28 claims.