Missouri outpaces Kansas in KC Metro job creation

Dan Weinbaum
October 09, 2017 - 5:57 am
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Economists are seeing an enormous shift as the Kansas City Metro continues a winning streak in job creation.

The area has created about 25,000 jobs a year since 2015, and about 78 percent of the new jobs are on the Missouri side.  

"Go back to 2013-2014, the vast majority of those would have been on the Kansas side, but now thousands of jobs are being created on the Missouri side," said Jeff Pinkerton, who tracks economic developments for the Mid America Regional Council.

The scale of the flip is extraordinary. While Missouri booms, northeast Kansas experiences a steep slide in job creation. 

"Now we have to wonder if there's something if there's something going on, systemically, in Kansas that's keeping the Kansas side from creating more jobs," Pinkerton said.

The trend has persisted for three years, and it is not focused on specific trades or professions.

"It's so pronounced that it's hard to point to one thing,"  Pinkerton said. "It's not like a collapse in one month or anything; it's just consistent -- it's really somewhat puzzling."

The trend does not indicate especially hard times in either state. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate in the Kansas City Metro in August was 4.4 percent, a historically low figure. 

The unemployment rate for all of Missouri in August was 4.0 percent, and in Kansas, 3.9 percent.

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