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    August 2013

Still stuck at 6.6 percent

We suppose it would be greedy to expect a regional employment increase in June like the one we had in May, where employment jumped by 9,500 in just one month. Instead, employment dropped slightly in June, down by 1,300. But the important thing to note is that the spike we saw in May appears to be real improvement and not just a statistical anomaly. Regional employment in June 2013 is up by 10,600 over June 2012. While that's a lackluster figure for a one-year gain, it keeps us firmly above the 1 million mark.

The region’s unemployment remains unchanged at 6.6 percent, marking the fifth consecutive month we have been at this level. Kansas City remains in the middle of its peer metros in terms of unemployment rate.

Job postings dropped in June after growing the previous three months. The decline actually puts June's job postings slightly below last year’s level. Want ads are a volatile indicator and can vary widely month to month, so it is too early to raise a red flag over this. Still, it's worth taking a closer look to see if the decline represents any trends.

Breaking down the job postings by industry, we found, not surprisingly, that health care had the greatest increase in activity, with a 50 percent increase in ads from one year ago. Job postings for finance and education also increased significantly over last June. But these gains were offset by significant decreases in posting activity in manufacturing and professional-technical services. Again, these figures could look totally different a month from now, but it bears monitoring to see if any discernible trends develop.

Interpretation of our June data depends on whether you are a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty person. The Kansas City employment situation is definitely improving, but the pace of growth is so gradual that the improvements are not really noticeable.

Upcoming Events

RWIN meeting
Aug. 7, 10 a.m., MARC offices

Annual Economic & Workforce Summit
Oct. 25, 8 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Kauffman Foundation Conference Center

Regional Green Jobs Task Force
Oct. 29, 10 a.m., MARC offices

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 kcworkforce.com.


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[The number of people currently employed full or part time. It is not a count of jobs, as an employed person may have more than one job. Current Employment Statistics data.]

After a spike in May, local employment dropped a bit to 1,007,700, but that is still an increase of more than 10,000 from June 2012.

[The number of unemployed as a percent of the total labor force.]

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 6.6 percent for the fifth month in a row.

Kansas City's unemployment rate appears stuck at 6.6 percent, but we remain firmly in the middle of the pack compared to peer metros.

Job postings declined in June to just below 13,000.

Source: WANTED Analytics

Latest "Employment by Industry" infographic

[click to enlarge]

KCEconomy finds job growth and loss varies widely by county

A recent post on our KC Economy blog breaks down employment gains and losses by county over the last decade.

Data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages shows wide variations among counties. Jackson County lost the most jobs — more than 37,000 — between 2001 and 2012. Even with employment gains in other counties, the MARC region as a whole lost about 5,000 over this period.

Jackson County also suffered most during the 2001 recession, and saw only modest employment gains between 2004 and 2007, while growth in the rest of the region was more robust.

Employment loss during the Great Recession was felt throughout the region — Johnson County actually lost more jobs than Jackson in 2009 — but the substantial declines lasted well into 2010 for Jackson County while they abated in the rest of the region. On a positive note, employment growth in Jackson County kept pace with Johnson County in 2012.

So what happened in Jackson County over the past decade? Breaking employment losses down by industry provides some insight. Since 2000, the Information sector (a broad category that includes telecommunications and publishing) has had the greatest decline. In 2001, Jackson County had more than 25,000 of these jobs, but this figure has dwindled to fewer than 10,000 today.

Read the full post for more information.



Mid-America Regional Council | 600 Broadway, Suite 200 | Kansas City, MO 64105 | Ph. 816-474-4240 | marcinfo@marc.org
Data sources: Kansas Department of Labor, Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), The Conference Board and Wanted Analytics.
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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