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    July 2016

Job growth continues, but some sectors are stronger than others

May’s employment numbers continue to reflect a growing, stable labor market in the Kansas City metro. Employment stands at an all-time high of 1,056,600 (up 17,000 from a year ago). The unemployment rate actually ticked up a bit but remains at a very respectable 4.1 percent. Employer confidence remains high as job postings continue to climb.

We are now several years into the recovery. Kansas City has kept up with the nation in terms of employment growth — both had employment increases of 1.6 percent over the last five years according to JobsEQ. However, the makeup of the employment change is quite different here.

On the negative side of the ledger, information sector employment, particularly in telecommunications, has continued to decline. This has been a strong sector in Kansas City for decades, once employing more than 50,000 people in the metro, but that number has been cut in half over the last 20 years. Over the last five years, this sector has seen modest growth nationally, while continuing to decline here (down by 11,500 jobs since 2011). Real estate is another sector that has grown nationally since 2011, but shrank here by 400 jobs.

On the plus side, Kansas City has outpaced the nation in professional, scientific and technical service jobs. We have added nearly 16,000 jobs in this broad sector in the last five years — a 3.9 percent increase, compared to 2.5 percent nationally. Drilling down further into this industry shows that our growth is coming specifically from computer systems design (7,800 jobs), management, scientific and technical consulting (3,200 jobs), architectural and engineering services (2,900 jobs) and accounting, tax preparation and bookkeeping services (1,100 jobs). Each of these growing industries has average wages well above the overall average, and it is hard to imagine that the demand for services provided by these industries will wane anytime soon.

Kansas City’s economy is in flux, but it appears to be growing in sectors that provide good jobs and have a bright future.

Upcoming Events

Internet of Things Workshop
July 25-28, 2016
Hands-on training for high school and middle school teachers
Bernard Campbell Middle School, Lee's Summit, MO

Gateways to Growth
Creating a Welcoming Community for Immigrants: An Important Regional Economic Development Strategy
September 7, 2016
8:30-11:45 a.m., Kauffman Foundation Conference Center

Workforce Summit
December 2, 2016
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (Details to be announced)




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

Employment rose for the second consecutive month in May. Metro employment now stands at 1,056,600.

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 rose to 4.1 percent. One year ago the regional unemployment rate was 5.0 percent.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

Kansas City's unemployment rate ticked up a bit to 4.1 percent, but overall unemployment rates are low and still in the middle of our peer metros.

Chart comparing peer metros

New job postings continue to trend upwards.

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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