After months of steadily falling unemployment rates, March saw a slight rise in nearly all local counties in Missouri, according to preliminary data released this week. Unemployment rates rose during the month in all Southeast Missouri counties but Iron County, which kept its 9.6 percent rate from February, and Stoddard County, which kept its 8.2 percent rate. Counties with a rise in unemployment, according to data compiled by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, included Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Scott, Ste. Genevieve and St. Francois. Compared to a year ago, however, there is still an improvement in the rates for each county of about 1 percent. Cape Girardeau, Perry and Scott counties have the lowest unemployment rates in the area, with 5.2 percent, 5.3 percent and 6.2 percent. The remainder of the area counties have unemployment rates between 6.8 percent in Ste. Genevieve County and 9.7 percent in Dunklin and Pemiscot counties. In the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s jobs report for March, the state saw increases in employment in the areas of food service and wholesale trade, while the health care and social assistance industries lost jobs.