JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A new report says Missouri's unemployment rate edged higher last month while the number of nonfarm jobs declined.
The Department of Economic Development says the jobless rate rose one-tenth of a point in July to 7.2 percent. That compares with a national rate of 8.3 percent.
The Missouri agency also reported Tuesday that nonfarm payroll employment decreased in July by 7,700 jobs.
Officials said record heat and severe drought affected outdoor jobs in such areas as construction, landscaping, lawn care and recreation.
July's monthly increase in unemployment was the first in Missouri since June of last year.