Cody Newill / KCUR

Community activists and faith leaders from Kansas and Missouri rallied at the intersection of 63rd Street and Troost Avenue Thursday, calling for a "moral economy."

One issue that several speakers focused on was a recent comment by Federal Reserve Bank  of Kansas City president Esther George suggesting that interest rates may be increased to combat inflation. 

Good news, Kansas City – the metro is almost back to pre-recession employment levels.

The latest job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the Kansas City area has added around 10,000 jobs since November 2013 and only lags April 2008 numbers by about 5,000 jobs.

"All signs are pointing to this being a pretty productive year, especially the second half of the year, in terms of employment in Kansas City," says Jeff Pinkerton, an economist with the Mid-America Regional Council.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed a bill into law that allows drug testing for people receiving some  types of state assistance or unemployment payments.

People receiving certain assistance payments could be tested if there’s suspicion they’re using drugs. If they test positive, they would have to complete drug treatment and job training. If they don’t comply, they lose benefits. A second positive test would mean losing benefits for at least a year. Governor Brownback says the goal of the bill is fighting drug use in Kansas.

courtesy of Missouri Economic Research and Information Center

Missouri’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in four years.

KC Civil Rights Summit

Apr 23, 2012
Auntie P / Flickr

On this Monday's Central Standard we speak with Ayanna Hightower-Mannon and Paul Pierce, who work in Kansas City's Civil Rights Division.

Falling unemployment leads to the long-term unemployed Misosurians to lose some benefits.  McCaskill calls for an investigation into refinery capacity.McCaskill.  A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

KC Region Tops Nation In Jobless Decline

Mar 23, 2012
Bill Anderson / KCUR

The Kansas City metro area, both sides of state line, has shown a remarkable decline in its unemployment rate, better than any metro district in the nation.

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Kansas City, MO – The NAACP wraps up its national convention in Bartle Hall today. The group's resolution condemning racism in the Tea Party movement on Tuesday drew widespread attention. But one of the most pressing issues discussed at the convention hasn't generated as many headlines.

Leaders of the long-standing civil rights organization are trying to tackle the nation's dismal unemployment rate. As KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross reports, the situation is even worse for African Americans.