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KC Economy – Stability in a Sea of Uncertainty

November 3, 2017

We presented  the region’s 2018 Economic Forecast last week at The Greater Kansas City Chamber’s annual Economic Forecast Breakfast.  The economy is doing well with no sign of a recession in the foreseeable future.  Its steady pace since the end of the Great Recession makes it a beacon of stability with in a sea of uncertainty created by a combination of recent natural disasters and on-going national policy debates.  With growth rates near the economy’s potential, unemployment at a 16-year low, rising wages and no inflation, the economy is experiencing a rare “Goldilocks” moment.  KC’s economy is matching the U.S. economy stride for stride, growing at almost precisely the same rate, and will add 18,000 to 20,000 jobs per year over the next two years.  Yet matching average U.S. growth is no longer enough for the region to achieve its aspirations of being a top-tier metro.  Compared to its peers (defined as the 15 metros immediately larger and smaller than KC by population), KC is falling behind. Its growth in GDP, median household income and quality jobs—jobs that pay above the median wage or require education levels that give them a career path to that wage—ranks 19th, 24th, and 20th, respectively, among the 31 peers.  To address these challenges, civic leaders need to stay focused on improving the drivers of regional prosperity – trade, talented people, and innovation and entrepreneurship—which is the purpose KC Rising, a partnership of civic organizations involving hundreds of business, education and community volunteers.

The full text report can be found here.

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