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    October 2016

KC labor market growing, but at a slower pace

The August employment data shows a region that is growing, but certainly not at a fast rate. Our local employment actually fell a bit from July (from 1,060,900 to 1,059,200) but this mark is still 13,000 jobs above where we were one year ago.

You still might be thinking that our pace of employment growth isn’t what it could be, and you’d be right. The chart below show the year-over-year change in metro employment, and so far 2016 is not matching what we saw in 2015.

In 2015, our year-over-year employment change averaged 22,485 per month. We have averaged just 15,850 per month so far in 2016. Solid growth, just not great growth.

Our unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in August after spiking to 5.1 percent in July. More robust employment growth would help in lowering that figure even further.

Employers still appear to be optimistic in their future hiring. Unique job postings climbed to 24,731 in August after dropping below 22,000 in both June and July.

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

Employment dipped a bit in August, to 1,059,200, but is up by 13,100 compared to last August.

Chart comparing employment totals to prior years

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

The unemployment rate dropped in August to 4.9 percent — exactly what it was one year ago.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

Our 4.9 percent unemployment rate places us toward the higher end among our peer metro areas.

Chart comparing peer metros

Unique job postings rose sharply in August.

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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