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    August 2016

Lackluster report for dog days of summer

Kansas City’s employment data for June gives us a lackluster report. Employment is up slightly to 1,056,000 in June, but the overall trend has been flat. After a robust 2014 and early 2015, Kansas City’s employment growth has slowed. Over the past year employment has grown just 1.4 percent. It exceeded 2 percent in the prior two years. The U.S. shows the same pattern, but the recent drop-off is more pronounced in Kansas City.

There does not appear to be an obvious scapegoat for our flat employment run at the national level. The national economy performed below expectations in the second quarter of the year. Locally, we continue to see employment declines in the Information sector. We also continue to see the trend of slow employment growth from the Kansas side of the metro we alluded to a few issues ago.

The ho-hum data extended to other indicators as well. The metro unemployment rate spiked in June to 4.5 percent. The rate had been as low as 3.8 percent as recently as April. The unemployment rate ticked up in all of our peer metros and our relative position did not change. Job postings also dropped to under 22,000 unique ads, but this is still an improvement of where we were one year ago.

As we have discussed several times in this newsletter, this data is volatile and subject to revision, so certainly no major conclusions should be drawn from one month’s worth of data.

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

Employment levels continue to show modest growth. Area employment now stands at 1,056,000.

Chart comparing employment totals to prior years

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

The metro unemployment rate spiked in June to 4.5 percent, but it remains lower than one year ago.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

Despite the increase in unemployment rate, Kansas City's rate remains in the middle of the pack relative to peers.

Chart comparing peer metros

Job postings dipped in June to 21,529 unique want ads.

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

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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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