Economy

KCUR News
3:55 pm
Mon May 11, 2009

Economy Hits Architects In Kansas City

Kansas City, MO – According to a recent report from the Commerce Department, unemployment rates for artists have risen even more rapidly than the rates for U.S. workers as a whole. That doesn't surprise architect Ryan Townsend. He was recently laid off, just one of many Kansas City architects who've been directly affected by a dramatic drop in architectural billings, which reached their lowest point in 13 years this January.

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KCUR News
10:20 am
Mon May 11, 2009

Job Seekers Band Together In Johnson County

Johnson County Job Club
Photo By Laura Ziegler

Overland Park, Kansas – Nearly 50 percent more workers in Johnson County are without jobs today than they were this time last year. The increase in unemployment is still well below the national average of 8.9%,and lower than that of neighboring Wyandotte County. But the job base in Johnson County historically has been high wage and highly skilled, and most are accustomed to job security.

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KCUR News
2:18 am
Thu May 7, 2009

Minority Enterprise Program Leaders Respond To Audit

K.D. Human Relations Director Phillip Yelder.
Video frame courtesy of KCCG. Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – About three weeks ago, an audit of Kansas City's program to ensure that minority and women-owned business get a share of city contracts said it took too long to certify the businesses that applied. Yesterday, the city human relations department gave its response.

Human Relations Director Phillip Yelder told the committee that the problem wasn't a slow process or lost applications - it was in the applications that were filed.

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KCUR News
9:40 pm
Mon April 27, 2009

Kansas City Targets Zone For Stimulus Relief

Hazel Baldwin lives in the Green Impact Zone

Kansas City, MO – This summer, federal stimulus money will likely fund tens of thousands of projects across the country. Most of them will have very little to do with each other.

But Kansas City, Mo., is trying hard to coordinate its stimulus spending by targeting a particularly violent and blighted part of its urban core -- the part it has dubbed the "Green Impact Zone of Missouri."

View From A Porch

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KCUR News
2:19 pm
Mon April 27, 2009

Renters Have Little Protection From Foreclosures

St. Louis, MO – In Missouri, homeowners get at least 20 days notice when banks decide to foreclose. Not so for renters.

When a landlord loses a property tenants often don't learn they have to move until a court summons arrives.

Legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly would help renters, but Maria Altman tells us that some groups say more notice is needed.

If a tenant is concerned that their landlord may default on his/her mortgage there are steps the tenant can take to find out.

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KCUR News
12:09 pm
Mon April 27, 2009

Kansas City Targets Zone For Stimulus Relief

Green Impact Zone resident Hazel Baldwin

Kansas City, MO – This summer, federal stimulus money will likely fund tens of thousands of projects across the country. Most of them will have very little to do with each other.

But Kansas City, Mo., is trying hard to coordinate its stimulus spending by targeting a particularly violent and blighted part of its urban core -- the part it has dubbed the "Green Impact Zone of Missouri."

View From A Porch

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KCUR News
11:51 am
Mon April 27, 2009

Kansas City Targets Zone For Stimulus Relief

Green Zone resident Hazel Baldwin.
Frank Morris

Kansas City, MO – This summer, federal stimulus money will likely fund tens of thousands of projects across the country. Most of them will have very little to do with each other.

But Kansas City, Mo., is trying hard to coordinate its stimulus spending by targeting a particularly violent and blighted part of its urban core -- the part it has dubbed the "Green Impact Zone of Missouri."

View From A Porch

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KCUR News
11:28 am
Fri April 24, 2009

Regional Jail Deal Okayed; Airport Privatization Dead

Councilman Russ Johnson gets dramatic as he admonishes his colleagues to give more consideration to privatizing the airport.
Video frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2. Right click to enlarge.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City will partner with Jackson County in a regional jail, but won't investigate privatizing the airport. And citizens won't have to try to remember which week is recyclables week.

There was no last minute debate as the council reversed its plan for collecting recyclables at curbside every other week and approved a new contract to continue every week collection.

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KCUR News
9:24 am
Tue April 21, 2009

Peter Barrett: My Two Cents

Overland Park, Kansas – Pete Barrett's a casualty of the consolidating media market. A long - time marketing manager for a local television station, he was laid off 8 years ago. He looked around and saw the health care field was a potential growth industry, and went to work in marketing for a radiology office. Now, he's lost that job now, too.

Here's Pete Barrett's story for the latest in our occasional series, My 2 Cents.

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KCUR News
1:09 am
Tue April 14, 2009

Hallmark Cards Cuts Jobs

Kansas City, MO – Hallmark Cards announced Wednesday it will cut between 6 and 8 percent of its US workforce, up to 750 people. The greeting card maker will first see how many employees take voluntary severance packages.

Spokeswoman Julie O'Dell says the layoffs then will come from across the company. "The jobs will be impacted across different divisions and departments in different ways, so they really cut across the entire organization."

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KCUR News
9:51 am
Thu April 9, 2009

Feds Target Kansas City's 'Green Impact Zone' For $50 Million In Stimulus

Kansas City, MO – Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat, who represents much of Kansas City, Missouri in the US Congress, says a zone in the middle of the city will become the model for spending federal stimulus money. The "Green Impact Zone" is broadened by Troost Avenue from 39th to 51st streets, and stretches as far east as Swope Parkway. Cleaver calls it "the most innovative and significant development in modern Kansas City history".

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KCUR News
1:13 am
Thu April 9, 2009

UMKC Prof. Sees Endemic Fraud And Cover Up In Financial Crisis

Kansas City, MO – It seems logical that banks caught stuck with billions of dollars in worthless assets got into that mess by mistake.

But, that's not how UMKC law and economics professor Bill Black sees it. Black says an administration hostile to regulation allowed mortgage bankers to write "liars loans," and allowed rating agencies and investment bankers to cash in on the charade. Now, he says the Obama appointees are obscuring a giant mess...one riddled on all levels by a single element: fraud.

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KCUR News
12:22 am
Thu April 9, 2009

Kemper Arena Losing $92K A Month

Kemper Arena: losing $1.1 million per year, according to the convention department.
Photo from wikipedia.org.

Kansas City, MO – At the Finance and Audit Committee meeting Wednesday, chair Deb Hermann looked back wistfully at a line of thinking that was common as the city contemplated building a new downtown arena: "There was going to be room for both Kemper and Sprint. We'd have great events at Kemper and it would keep it going, and in fact having two is better because you create more energy and will have better attendance at both. To everyone's disappointment it has not worked out that way."

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KCUR News
3:14 am
Fri April 3, 2009

Talks Stall: Big Building Jobs Struck

On picket line, Kauffman Arts Center site, Larry Middleton(L), Tom Kelsey (R).
kcur photo by dan verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – A strike by cement finishers has slowed or halted work at a host of major construction projects in Kansas City. Rank and file union members say a mediator has joined efforts to renew negotiations between Local 518 and the Greater Kansas City Builders Association. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports.

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KCUR News
3:29 am
Wed April 1, 2009

Foreclosure/Evictions Flourish: Richer Suburbs Are Prime

Deputies Tracy Ocamb (L), Steve Neumer (R) with eviction order in back pocket.
kcur photo by dan verbeck

Mission, KS – As a gauge of the state of the economy, foreclosures and evictions tell a story that won't be denied. They shatter stereotypes of poor neighborhoods and the chronically unemployed.

One part of the Kansas City metro region that used to be immune is Johnson County, Kansas. KCUR's Dan Verbeck has more of the story.

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KCUR News
11:06 pm
Fri March 27, 2009

My Two Cents: Phillip Morgan

Olathe, Kansas – The job of looking for a job... you don't think about how hard it is until you're actually doing it.

That's the experience of one man recently laid off from his sales job at a start-up company that after two years decided to close it's doors this past December.

Before that, Phillip Morgan had been drawing a salary, plus commission, in the low six figures with almost 20 years experience with one of the nation's largest telecom companies.

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KCUR News
5:01 am
Fri March 27, 2009

Fuel Miser Truck Whispers From Launch

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ( L) and SEV CEO Bryan Hansel examine truck battery
kcur photo by dan verbeck

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KCUR News
9:11 am
Tue March 24, 2009

Black & Veatch Stays And Upgrades

Kansas City, MO – International engineering firm Black and Veatch plans to keep its headquarters in Overland Park. The company's been at the site near Lamar and College Blvd for more than 30 years. Now, it's buying the building for 60 million dollars and planning upgrades. CEO Len Rodman says the company looked at 40 sites across the metro, but said the current site was the best.

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KCUR News
10:42 am
Fri March 20, 2009

My Two Cents: Brent Voepel

Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – The economy may be bad, but that apparently doesn't tame the urge to snack. So when Brent Voepel had trouble finding a new job in Kansas City's advertising industry, he went back to his college gig of selling kettle corn and funnel cakes. He's even brought on a friend, an out-of-work commodities trader. We caught up with Voepel outside the Walmart in Roeland Park, where he was setting up his homemade kettle.

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KCUR News
2:07 am
Mon March 16, 2009

My Two Cents: Wilmer McBride

Wilmer McBride at his piano. Photo by Annie Walsh / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – For about 10 years, Wilmer McBride has lived in southeast Kansas City, near the former Bannister Mall. It's an area that's seen a lot of foreclosures in the past two years. For now, McBride is still meeting his mortgage payments. But since he retired a few years ago, it's become hard to keep up. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross recently paid him a visit.

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KCUR News
10:01 am
Tue March 10, 2009

Kansas City Star Plans To Cut 150 Employees

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Star announced yesterday it will be laying off about 150 employees, or 15% of its workforce. The layoffs - which are expected within the week - are part of a move by the Star's parent company, McClatchy, to reduce expenses. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.

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KCUR News
4:49 am
Mon March 9, 2009

Familiar Foes Use Stadiums As Budget Fulcrum

KC, Jackson County leaders: L to R. Mark Funkhouser, Jim Corwin(in uniform), Mike Smith(back to camera), Dan Tarwater dispute tax use.
kcur photo by Dan Verbeck

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KCUR News
1:35 am
Thu March 5, 2009

Recession Deals Nonprofits A Double Blow

Men cluster near the basement door of Grace Cathedral waiting for doors to open for the free lunch program. The noon crowds there have increased by 30%.
Photo by Steve Bell.

Kansas City, MO – At noon on a chilly February day the free lunch line outside the Grace and Holy Trinity cathedral downtown stretches the length of the parking lot and curves to span its width. Some in the line are the chronically unemployed, but these days more and more are people laid off due to the recession and looking for work.

A man volunteers to tell his story. His name is O'Connell, he says. Laid off from a warehouse he hasn't been able to find a job. Things are getting dire.

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KCUR News
11:07 pm
Wed March 4, 2009

Uncivil Airing Snarls Dress Debate

Kevin Hannibal speaks in city council chambers.
kcur photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – The hearing began when Councilwoman Sharon Sanders Brooks opened a shopping bag. She pulled out a bra and panties to make her point that the district should police it's own employees.

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KCUR News
5:07 am
Mon March 2, 2009

Wichita Braces As Small Plane Sales Dive

Wichita, KS – Nothing says money and power like a business jet. But the industry that makes them is in a tail spin. Small airplane manufacturing is dominated by American firms, many located one mid-sized Midwestern city. KCUR's Frank Morris went there, by car, and brought back this report.

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KCUR News
1:19 am
Wed February 25, 2009

Foreclosures Spread To Suburbs

Kansas City, MO – The number of foreclosures in the area continues to mount, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Officials are predicting that the problem will get worse before it gets better.

Many of the first wave of foreclosures were due to subprime loans, and tended to be concentrated in low-income areas. Kelly Edmiston is a senior economist with the Kansas City Fed. He says that although Kansas City's overall foreclosure rate is lower than some other parts of the country, there are some troubling hot spots.

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KCUR News
9:33 am
Mon February 2, 2009

Plodding Plot For Econ Recovery Cash

Heavy construction equipment working across from city hall serves as backdrop to strategy talks.
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

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KCUR News
9:34 am
Fri January 30, 2009

Sprint Employees Stare Into Teeth Of The 'New Economy'

Less Frans, leaving Sprint after 23 years
Frank Morris

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KCUR News
9:34 am
Fri January 30, 2009

Challenges Of Giving During Trying Economic Times

Brent Stewart, CEO and President of the United Way of Greater Kansas City

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