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.
Missouri officials say state payrolls declined by 4,000 jobs in June while unemployment simultaneously decreased to 7.1 percent.
Department of Economic Development officials say much of the decline in Missouri non-farm payrolls came in the local government sector, which shed 3,100 jobs in June.
The state unemployment rate has declined or held steady each month since June 2011. The jobless rate last month is the lowest in Missouri since December 2008.