Employment In The Kansas City Area Shows Strong Growth

Mar 23, 2017

The February job figures show that the metro area has growing employment opportunities for people who have more than a high school education.
Credit Mid-America Regional Council

In the Kansas City metro area, the economy added about 25,000 jobs over the past year and is now growing at a rate of about two and a half percent per year.

Frank Lenk, who specializes in economic and demographic forecasts for the Mid-America Regional Council, says this is above historical norms of about two percent.

He says the figures for the Kansas City economy show two sectors creating the most jobs.

“Number one is professional and business services, especially professional scientific services and number two is education and health, especially healthcare related firms are showing the greatest growth,” says Lenk.

Combined, these sectors added about 12,000 metro jobs over the past year, accounting for roughly half of the area’s overall job growth. Lenk says not everyone is able to take advantage of this sort of growth because to succeed in the current economy a degree or high-quality certificate beyond high school is necessary.

And not all sectors are growing.

Lenk says the one sector in the metro area that is shedding jobs is information. He says, this is caused primarily by difficulties at Sprint and at area media outlets.

“And so that’s probably the sector that is pulling down the rest of the economy the most,” he says. 

Figures from the Missouri Department of Economic Development also show that job growth in the state government significant, adding 54,000 jobs since February 2016, a 1.9 percent increase.

Missouri’s unemployment rate has fallen for the sixth consecutive month to 4.1 percent. At this time last year, Missouri's unemployment rate stood at 4.5 percent.

Danny Wood is a freelance reporter for KCUR