E-mail not displaying correctly? Click here to view it in your web browser.

    April 2015

Kansas City's employment picture is brightening

We are at the time of year where our labor market data comes in a bit slowly as the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes its annual adjustments. It has been worth the wait.

As we highlighted at the end of last year, employment in the region climbed significantly in November and December 2014. The revised data supports that rapid growth. All told, 2014 appears to have been a solid year with employment growth of 35,000 jobs (January 2014–January 2015). Considering that we spent much of 2014 wondering why Kansas City’s employment growth had been so slow, this is a welcome revision. Growth was seen in most industries, led by Professional and Business Services; Trade, Transportation and Utilities; Education and Health; and Construction.

Our unemployment rate analysis had to undergo some changes this month, as the seasonally adjusted rates we normally use will not be available for a few months. Looking at not-seasonally adjusted data, our rate stands at 5.9 percent, which is on the higher end of our peer group. This high rate is due to more people entering the workforce, which, by itself, is a good thing.

Unique job postings, which have been increasing for years, topped 46,000 in January, the highest point we have seen since we began producing this newsletter. We began publishing in the depths of the recession, and we hoped to use this newsletter to track Kansas City’s recovery. It has taken a bit longer than we had hoped, but data from the past few months strongly suggests Kansas City’s labor market has recovered and is, in fact, poised for growth in 2015 and beyond.

About RWIN

MARC developed the Regional Workforce Intelligence Network to encourage greater collaboration among the region's workforce data and information professionals.

RWIN is a collaboration of economic development professionals, one-stop centers, workforce centers, community colleges and universities that meets on a monthly basis.

For more information, visit kcworkforce.com.


Upcoming Events

RWIN Meeting
May 6, 10 a.m.
MARC Conference Center

MARC Regional Assembly
June 5, 11:30-1:30
Sheraton Crown Center
Register online



[The current number of jobs in the Kansas City metro as determined by the monthly Current Employment Statistics survey.]

Metro employment sat at 1,037,200 at the end of January 2015, significantly higher than one year ago.

[The number of unemployed as a percent of the total labor force.]

Despite rising employment, the unemployment rate increased as more people entered the workforce. NOTE: We typically use seasonally adjsuted unemployment rates here, but that data series is temporarily unavailable. We are using not-seasonally adjusted instead.

The Kansas City metro's 5.9 percent unemployment rate still places it well at the back of its peer group of metros.

Unique want ads jumped to nearly 47,000 in January 2015, compared to 33,900 one year ago.

Most recent Employment by Industry infographic

(Click to enlarge)

Rising rental rates: good or bad?

There was an interesting article in Forbes the other day. Using data from Zillow, the magazine listed the metros with the greatest increases in housing rental rates.

The top of the list was populated by metros you’d expect to see: San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Austin and Portland, for example. But, there was one somewhat surprising, and very familiar metro coming in fourth on the list. Our very own Kansas City saw a year-over-year increase in rental rates of 8.5 percent. Only San Francisco, San Jose and Denver were higher.

So what exactly can we make of this? Read more on our KCEconomy blog»

Follow us on Twitter

Interested in more about KC's economy? Follow @KCEconomy on Twitter to get the latest information on regional economic data.



Mid-America Regional Council | 600 Broadway, Suite 200 | Kansas City, MO 64105 | Ph. 816-474-4240 | marcinfo@marc.org
Data sources: Kansas Department of Labor, Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), The Conference Board and EMSI.
Regional data includes Franklin, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and Bates, Caldwell, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Jackson,
Lafayette, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri.

Subscribe/Unsubscribe Bookmark and Share