If the goal is to make it look like the state is hiding something every month regarding the latest jobs data, the press office at the Missouri Department of Economic Development is doing great work.
Following two months of filing a Sunshine Law request each time to receive the latest jobs data, the department posted numbers online the same day as sending out the press release for March.
Each month, after touting the creation of thousands of jobs in the release, the data would show an even larger drop in the labor force.
More people started new jobs during April than exited the labor force for the first time this year.
The department, however, noted in the press release that it adjusted the March payroll numbers.
For the sake of comparison and accuracy, were the labor force numbers also adjusted?
I called and left numerous messages and sent a handful of emails. In addition to reaching out to the governor's office, I tried calling the researchers. But the operator sent me back to the press office.
No one has returned a call or email.
A nice person in the press office in Washington D.C. helped me get in touch with a labor economist, who confirmed that it is not uncommon for slight differences between the national and state data.
To make sure I had the most recent data, the media relations person talked me through how to use the online database, where I examined the latest labor force, employment and unemployment data.
Afterwards, I reported what the state might finally consider as positive labor market news.
While 31,500 left the labor force since the start of this year, the state has added 35,500 new jobs.
Since a person must be actively searching for employment to be counted as unemployed, more people were leaving the workforce across Missouri than landing new jobs until last month.
The new jobs pushed the unemployment rate lower to 7.3 percent compared to 7.4 in March.
However, I might be back on the no call list after the state received unwelcome news on Thursday.
If no one will return my calls or answer my questions in the state economic development office, hopefully someone within the department is taking the time to talk with prospective new businesses.