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    November 2017

Economy shaping up to be slow and steady in 2017

At the three-quarter mark (with September data in) 2017 is looking more and more like a year of slower employment growth. We will have to wait and see if there is a late-year rally, but all indications so far tell us that we are continuing to add jobs, just not at the same pace as recent years. September employment stands at 1,087,400 in the metro. This is up by just 12,600 jobs from September 2016. Compare that to the increase of 27,200 jobs between September 2015 and 2016.

If recent history is a guide, we can expect an uptick in employment over the last three months. (Remember, we are using seasonally adjusted data here, so the hiring boost we normally see due to the holidays has already been taken into account).

The most eye-catching development this month is the sharp drop in the metro unemployment rate to 3.4 percent. This measure is not seasonally adjusted, and the September drop is something we have seen in previous years as well. Still, you have to go back to May 2000 before you would find a lower unemployment rate in the Kansas City metro.

Help wanted ads dropped slightly in September, but remain at a healthy level at nearly 20,000 unique ads.

New Reports Online

Two new reports released at the annual Workforce and Education Summit in early November are now available online:

Career & Tech Education in Greater Kansas City — This report provides a snapshot of the current state of Career & Tech Education in the region, along with local and national best practices.

2017 Educational Asset Inventory — This annual inventory provides a comprehensive look at credentials available at area colleges and universities (public, private and for-profit) in key industry sectors that are important to the regional economy.

See all of our workforce reports at






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

Employment ticked up slightly in September to 1,087,400.

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 dropped significantly to 3.4 percent.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

Our 3.4 percent unemployment rate places us squarely in the middle of our peers.

Chart comparing peer metros

Job postings dropped slightly in September after a large jump 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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