State data released Wednesday show more people are back at work in Missouri after joblessness spiked during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but unemployment is still way up compared to last year.

JEFFERSON CITY — State data released Wednesday show more people are back at work in Missouri after joblessness spiked during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but unemployment is still way up compared to last year. 

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 7% in August to 4.9% in September. Missouri unemployment reached 10.2% in April, when the virus was peaking in the state. 

Missouri officials say the recent dip in unemployment is partly due to people dropping out of the labor force completely after their unemployment benefits were cut off. Data show the civilian labor force dropped 2.3% in September compared to August.

Joblessness is still significantly up compared to the same time last year, when Missouri's unemployment rate hit 3.3% in September.