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March 2018

JANUARY 2018 1,092,200 * 4.0% 1.5%
DECEMBER 2017 1,092,100 18,342 3.3% 1.6%
Month-to-Month Change + 400 * + 0.7% - 0.1%


Click the image above to download the latest employment-by-industry infographic.


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The Workforce Indicators Newsletter is published monthly by the Mid-America Regional Council. MARC is the nonprofit association of local governments and metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region.

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Kansas City, MO 64105

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.


Kansas City metro area adds 16,600 jobs in 2017

Our first 2018 employment data shows a Kansas City economy that added 16,600 jobs between January 2017 and January 2018. This is a solid figure for Kansas City but down a bit from the year-over-year growth totals we saw in recent years, where we added more than 20,000 new jobs per year. This latest data release also includes a significant revision to the 2017 data. You may recall that we were wondering why employment growth went flat late in 2017 after growing so strong in the early months. The revised data suggests that the metro started at a lower level but added jobs on a more consistent basis throughout the year.

We are introducing a new and hopefully more relevant variable this year. Instead of comparing Kansas City to peer metros on unemployment rate, we are now doing that comparison based on the percent change in employment year-over-year. This measure lets us see how Kansas City is doing in actual job creation relative to peers. Since January 2017, Kansas City employment grew by 1.5 percent. This puts us in the middle of our peer group, but well below metros like Austin and Charlotte that saw employment growth exceed 3 percent.

We will continue to track Kansas City’s unemployment rate each month. The metro unemployment rate jumped up to an even 4 percent in January, up from 3.3 percent in December, but lower than the 4.5 percent rate of one year ago.


Year-Over-Year Comparisons


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

The metro starts 2018 with 1,092,000 jobs.


[Unique help wanted ads from WANTED Analytics.]

2017 ended with with just over 18,000 unique want ads. This is down from earlier in the year, but still average compared to recent years.

*Note: January data was unavailable at time of publication.


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

The unemployment rate starts off the year at 4 percent. This is up from last month, but lower than one year ago.


[Percent change in employment year-over-year among 14 metropolitan areas.]

Kansas City added 16,600 jobs in the year ending January 2018, a growth rate of 1.5 percent. This rate puts us in the middle among our peers.