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    December 2016

KC employment picture remains flat as 2016 comes to a close

The Kansas City metro’s employment level ticked up slightly in October to 1,058,800 jobs after two months of slight declines. This puts us about 13,500 jobs ahead of last year — not a bad number, but not particularly good either. We will still have two more months of data to report, but it doesn’t look like 2016 is going to match the growth we have seen in the previous two years. We topped 20,000 new jobs in both of those years.

Despite modest employment growth, the regional unemployment rate has fallen for the third straight month and now sits at 4.1 percent. This is slightly higher than where we were one year ago (4.0 percent). Many of our peer metros have lower unemployment rates, but all things considered, an unemployment rate around 4 percent is not too much of a cause for concern. By some standards, it means nearly full employment.

Job postings dropped for the second consecutive month to 20,000 unique help wanted ads. This is the lowest point so far this year. We'll continue to monitor this development. If this is part of an ongoing slowdown, it would indicate that local businesses are lukewarm to future hiring, which would be a problem. But this indicator is particularly volatile from month to month. We would need a few more months of data before we could call this a real trend.

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

Employment climbed in October after slipping the previous two months.

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 to 4.1 percent in October, just slightly higher than one year ago.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

Our unemployment rate has dropped, but so have the rates for many of our peer metros. We still fall toward the higher end among our peers.

Chart comparing peer metros

Monthly job postings stand at about 20,000, the same point as last hear at this time.

Chart comparing job postings to prior years

Most recent Employment by Industry infographic

Employment by Industry Infographic
(Click to enlarge)

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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.

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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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