Unemployment rates in Missouri at record low, experts say slowdown in hiring could help reduce inflation

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – According to the Missouri Monthly Jobs Report released by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.5 percent is the lowest it has been since the data series began in 1976. 

Derieck Hodges, found and owner of Anchor Pointe Wealth Management in Jackson, says these employment figures suggest a recession is not in the cards right now.

“Typically in a recession, you would see pretty large unemployment rather than lots of job openings,” he said.

David Yaskewich, professor and department chair of the Accounting, Economics, and Finance Department at Southeast Missouri State University, also says unless there is a sudden change, we are likely a safe distance away from a recession. 

“Right now if we were to ask whether we’re in a recession or not, the labor market data would suggest no,” he said.

But with a strong labor market comes a spike in wages, thus contributing to high levels of inflation. 

Hodges said that although low unemployment rates are good on the surface, a cooldown of the labor market may be necessary to combat inflation. 

“That’s where I think it is this push-pull. We really want to root for inflation to come down, but to do that we almost have to root for employment to get a little bit softer than it is right now,” he said. “We do need our economy to slow somewhat to bring inflation back down.” 

Yaskewich said the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates could also help bring inflation down and help avoid a wage-price spiral. 

“That has the potential to slow the pace of hiring, so that might alleviate some of this issue with inflation and a potential wage-price spiral,” he said.

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