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St. Louis unemployment rate at lowest level in decades

The unemployment rate in the St. Louis area fell to 3.1 percent for September. This is the lowest level since at least 1990. The previous low for the area was 3.2 percent in January 2000, not long before the dot-com bubble burst.

This time around, area job growth has been driven by the health care and financial service industries.

Experts say the area’s unemployment rate is probably about as low as it can go, because lack of available labor can constrict companies’ growth.

Companies that can’t find the workers they need may resort to tactics like increasing current employees’ hours, moving part-time employees to full-time positions and investing in technology to reduce reliance on labor.

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