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    December 2017

2017 employment numbers remain flat

As 2017 begins to draw to a close, it is looking more and more like a bland year for Kansas City employment. October’s employment numbers show an economy that has added very few jobs relative to one year earlier. We currently stand at just 9,900 jobs ahead of October 2016.

Long-time readers of this newsletter know that this data can be significantly revised in the new year. Kansas City has seen some significant upward revisions in the past, so we will see if that transpires this time.

Other data seems to suggest that employment should be rising at a stronger rate. Kansas City’s unemployment rate has dropped to 3.2 percent, the lowest level we have seen since 2000. Additionally, help wanted ads spiked in October, suggesting area businesses are looking to hire. At over 24,000 ads, this is the highest number we have seen in over a year and is likely not just due to seasonal hiring.

The jobs we have added over the past year are more likely in professional business services (engineering, computer system design, legal, etc.). That sector is up 5,900 jobs since last October. We also saw growth in leisure, hospitality and trade. Significant losses occurred in construction, manufacturing and information.

Upcoming Event

Kansas Works Employer Forum on Fair Chance Hiring Practices
Friday, Jan. 26, 7:30-10:30 a.m.
KCKCC, 6565 State Avenue
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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 has remained fairly flat in 2017, with 1,084,700 jobs in October.

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 continued to drop, now standing at 3.2 percent.

Chart comparing unemployment rate to prior years

Our peer metros are seeing unemployment rates fall, too, so even at 3.2 percent we lost a little ground compared to our peers.

Chart comparing peer metros

Job postings jumped dramatically in October.

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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