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    June 2016

Positive data overall,
with strong growth in manufacturing jobs

Kansas City's April data was positive overall. Employment ticked up a bit to 1,053,000 (up 17,500 from one year ago). Our regional unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent which is securely in the middle of our peers. And the positive employment trend is likely to continue — job postings topped 24,000 in April, indicating employers are in growth mode. So, good news all around.

Let's take a moment to focus on one particular industry: manufacturing. We are all familiar with manufacturing’s story. Many U.S. manufacturing jobs have been lost to off-shoring in recent decades and for those manufacturers that stayed, technological advances have made them more efficient and less dependent on human input. In short, manufacturing is not a strong employment growth sector. However, (and you knew there was a “however” coming) this hasn’t been the case in recent years in Kansas City.

The chart below shows the annual employment growth rate for manufacturing in the Kansas City metro (blue) and the U.S. (orange). After some scuffling coming out of the recession, Kansas City manufacturing employment has outpaced U.S. growth over the last two years. Kansas City has added 5,300 manufacturing jobs since 2013 for a total of 74,200.

Automobiles, auto parts and electronic component manufacturing are clearly leading the resurgence, but there has been solid growth in food and beverage manufacturing as well.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, manufacturing’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. Nationally, the sector has been growing for five years now. In Kansas City, the growth is more recent, but it has been particularly strong in recent years.

Upcoming Events

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




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

Employment ticked up for the first time this year. Metro employment is up 17,500 jobs from one year ago.

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 unseasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 3.9 percent. One year ago the regional unemployment rate was 4.9 percent.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

The metro is still near the middle of the pack compared to its peers.

Chart comparing peer metros

New job postings continue to trend upwards. NOTE: We are now using unduplicated new want ads to more accurately capture the volume of potential new jobs. Previous versions included duplicated job postings.

Chart comparing job postings to prior years

Most recent Employment by Industry infographic

Employment by Industry Infographic
(Click to enlarge)

New resource for college-bound students

The College Connections Center opened June 1. The center provides FREE one-on-one advising over the summer to any college-bound students and their families going to ANY COLLEGE in the fall. More information on hours and services»

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

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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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