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    December 2015

Metro employment at an all-time high

As we predicted last month, the robust October national employment numbers translated into good local employment numbers. Metro employment stands at 1,041,800. This is an all-time high for the metro and an increase of nearly 19,000 from one year ago.

The Health, Finance and Construction sectors were the top job-creating industries. Sometimes it is beneficial to take a long look back at where we have been. Although job growth during the recovery has been slow — and sometimes absent — we truly have come a long way. We have long since bypassed pre-recession employment peaks and appear to be on a solid upward trajectory.

MARC’s economic forecast calls for continued employment growth, at an even more accelerated rate, through 2017. The region is expected to add about 25,000 jobs a year.

While employment climbed, the unemployment rate dipped to 4.2 percent, the lowest level this measure has seen since 2001. This unemployment rate places Kansas City in a middle tier among peer metros.

Help wanted ads dropped in October, but they still remain very strong overall.

2015 has clearly had its ups and downs in terms of our local workforce, but it appears to be drawing to a close on a positive note. There is some real momentum building in local employment, which bodes well for 2016.


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

Regional employment jumped to 1,041,800, an all-time high.

Chart comparing employment totals to prior years

[The number of unemployed as a percent of the total labor force, not seasonally adjusted.]

Kansas City's unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent. The metro unemployment rate hasn't been this low since 2001.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

Kansas City falls in the middle tier of peer metros compared by unemployment rates.

Chart comparing peer metros

Job posting dipped in October but remains quite strong.

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

Upcoming Events

2016 RWIN Meeting Schedule
January 6, 2016
March 2, 2016
May 4, 2016
July 6, 2016
September 7, 2016
(All meetings at 10 a.m. at the MARC Conference Center)

KC Rising Phase I Rollout
February 29
(Date and Location TBA)

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Mid-America Regional Council | 600 Broadway, Suite 200 | Kansas City, MO 64105 | Ph. 816-474-4240 |
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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