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    February 2017

Employment levels remain flat, while unemployment rate continues to decline

The most recent employment data covers December 2016, but we can't close the book on last year just yet. More on why in a minute.

The December numbers complete what has been a rather lackluster employment year for Kansas City. Our key employment measure (seasonally adjusted CES data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) has been flat in 2016, especially during the second half of the year.

Despite a flat employment picture, the regional unemployment rate declined steadily during the second half of the year. This data is not seasonally adjusted so seasonal factors come into play on this measure. Kansas City’s unemployment rate traditionally peaks in the summer and declines from there. Perhaps the most important takeaway here is the 3.9 percent rate itself. This is a low unemployment rate and right in line with rates in our peer metros.

Job postings rebounded a bit in December, following three straight declines.

Why keep 2016 books open? When we get January data (in mid-March) we will also get a revision to the 2016 data, as it get re-benchmarked to more current baseline data. In the past, these revisions have been significant for Kansas City. So, stay tuned. Our next newsletter will analyze the re-benchmarked 2016 data and tell us how 2017 is starting.

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

Overall employment remained flat in 2016, varying within a range of 10,000 jobs over the course of the year.

Chart comparing employment totals to prior years

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

After four months of decline, employment rose slightly to end December at 3.9 percent.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

Kansas City's unemployment rate is right in the middle of our peer metros.

Chart comparing peer metros

Job postings climed slightly in December, ending the year just about even with December 2015.

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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