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    October 2015

Where Did Our
Job Growth Go?

Back in February, we felt like we had this job growth thing down, as employment grew to 1,041,500 jobs. That, unfortunately, turned out to be the peak, and employment has declined a bit since then. Our August employment total stands at 1,034,800, down by 6,700 from February. Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusted the figure we reported for July downward by 4,500.

We should keep in mind that we are still well above last year's level, by about 13,000 jobs, but so far 2015 has been less than spectacular in terms of employment growth in Kansas City — a trend not shared by some of our peer metros, as the chart below illustrates.

The year still has four months of data yet to be reported, and perhaps we will see a big finish like we did in 2014. But still, given all the economic momentum Kansas City seems to have, employment remains a puzzling laggard. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent, but it still remains high relative to our peer metros.

Sixth Annual Workforce and Educaton Summit

Please join us on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center for our annual workforce and education summit, where we'll explore ways to develop a more highly qualified workforce by strengthening connections between industry and education.

Our keynote speaker will be Joel Simon, vice president for workforce and economic development at CAEL, the Center for Adult and Experiental Learning.

Agenda details and a link for registration are online here.


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

Recent adjustments to employment data indicate a much flatter trend for the region.

Chart comparing employment totals to prior years

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

Kansas City's unemployment rate fell from 5.5 percent in July to 5.2 percent in August.

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 fell from April to July, but remained well above last year's numbers. (August data was not yet available at time of publication.)

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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