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    September 2015

KC employment continues steady growth

The Kansas City region added jobs for the third consecutive month in July. Employment now stands at 1,039,800, which is nearing the all-time high we achieved in February. Overall, the metro is up by 19,400 jobs from one year ago.

The financial sector saw the biggest increase, adding 4,200 jobs, followed by professional business services (3,700) and local government (which includes public schools) at 3,600.

The metro unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 5.5 percent — still significantly lower than the rate one year ago, but higher than most of our peers.

While the regional workforce is steadily plugging away this summer, there is some exciting research going on behind the scenes.

We have been working with the Council for Adult Learning and Experiential Learning (CAEL) on a detailed inventory of our regional educational assets. Through this analysis we will be better able to identify gaps between local education offerings and education required by employers.

On a related, but more granular scale, we have also been analyzing competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities) required for jobs in several of our key industries. This study will help us identify key competencies needed in our growing industry sectors at a more detailed level.

And finally, we are listening to businesses through facilitated discussions to identify persistent shortfalls in our regional workforce.

Work on each of these research projects is ongoing. Watch for detailed updates at our upcoming Workforce Summit on November 3.


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

Regional employment grew for the third month in a row in July and is nearing the 1,040,000 mark.

Chart comparing employment totals to prior years

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

Kansas City's unemployment rate jumped a bit in July, to 5.5 percent. 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

Kansas City's unemployment rate is still higher than most peer metros.

Chart comparing peer metros

Unique want ads have dipped since April 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.

Upcoming Events

Annual Workforce Summit
Save the Date:
Nov. 3, 8 a.m. to noon
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center

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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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