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Back to Work, KC! A 2013 Employment Recap

February 7, 2014

by Jeff Pinkerton

In an earlier post we discussed 10 reasons to be excited about the Kansas City economy in 2014. As we pored through some year-end employment data for the Kansas City metro, we realized that 2013 put the local economy on solid footing to realize those expectations.

For starters, the metro’s unemployment rate dropped to levels we haven’t seen since 2008. The current, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stands at 5.6 percent. When compared to the 52 other large metros — those with a population of at least 1 million — Kansas City is seventh-lowest.

The chart below shows a steady overall decline in the unemployment rates since 2010, both seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted. Early 2013 trended relatively flat for Kansas City, but the rates dropped significantly in the fourth quarter.

2013 Unemp Rate Chart

However, despite lower unemployment rates, Kansas City’s employment growth was pretty unremarkable in 2013, adding just 7,600 jobs from January to December. Much of the region’s total employment growth is attributed to the Professional Business Services sector which grew by 3,600, and the Construction industry which grew by 2,000. The Retail sector was the biggest drain on local employment, losing 4,800 jobs. The infographic below has the employment details for all industries.


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