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    August 2015

KC labor market sees modest summer growth

The Kansas City Metro added to its employment level in June, climbing to 1,034,600 jobs. This is up by 15,600 from one year ago.

Our job growth has come from a variety of industries. Construction, for example, saw a 6 percent increase in employment, with 2,800 more jobs than one year ago. Surging construction employment indicates a growing economy, as public and private entities see value in physically investing in the region.

Transportation also remains a solid job creator, adding over 2,000 jobs. But the professional and business services industry has really been the workhorse during this job recovery. Since the depths of the recession in 2007, over 22,000 jobs have been added in this sector — and over 4,300 in the last year alone.

The metro unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.3 percent. This still keeps us well in the back of the pack relative to our peers, but we're better off than one year ago, when the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.

Employers are still bullish enough to advertise open positions. Although unique want ads dipped slightly between April and May (the most recent data available) to 61,441, that is well above the figures from one year ago.


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

Regional employment ticked up slightly in June 2015. The metro now has 15,600 more jobs than it had in June 2014.

Chart comparing employment totals to prior years

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

Kansas City's unemployment rate remained flat at 5.3 percent, but is still below one year ago. NOTE: We typically use the seasonally adjusted unemployment rates here, but that data series is temporarily unavailable. The rates shown below are not seasonally adjusted.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

At 5.3 percent, Kansas City's unemployment rate still lags behind many of its peer metros. Only Kansas City and Indianapolis held steady from May to June; all others rose slightly.

Chart comparing peer metros

Unique help wanted ads dropped slightly in May, but they remain well above last year's numbers.

Chart comparing job postings to prior years

Most recent Employment by Industry infographic

Employment by Industry Infographic
(Click to enlarge)

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.

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MARC logo 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.

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