Kansas City likely to see slower employment growth over the next few months

Aug 04, 2022
| Posted in
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Seasonally adjusted employment decreased in June 2022 by 700 jobs, adding to the losses from May (1,100 jobs). The unemployment rate declined to 2.9%, down from 3.1% in May, suggesting that the local labor market remained tight despite the deceleration.

The Kansas City economy has now recovered 80% of the 139,300 jobs lost from the recession. Kansas City needs to recover another 27,600 jobs to return to the pre-pandemic level from January 2020.

Peer metro comparison

Kansas City ranks 10th overall in 12-month employment growth out of our 11 peer metros, with employment increasing 1.4% over the 12-month period. Overall, Kansas City did not see as large a decline as other peer metros from the COVID-19 recession but has struggled to regain jobs lost. Kansas City is far behind peer metro growth leaders like Nashville (6.4%) and Portland (5.7%).

Specific industries performance

Some industries in the Kansas City area have fared well, while others have seen losses over the past 12 months. The industries that saw the largest employment gains are:

  • Leisure & Hospitality (7,300 jobs)
  • Mining, Logging, & Construction (4,800 jobs)
  • Health Services & Private Education (3,500 jobs)
  • Professional/Technical Services (3,300 jobs).

Industries that have seen the largest declines are: 

  • Financial Services (-1,700 jobs)
  • Federal Government (-1,300 jobs)
  • Administrative Support & Waste Management (-1,300 jobs)
  • Local Government (-1,000 jobs).

The slower growth is largely in line with the Federal Reserve’s actions to moderate the overheated economy, which is causing a steep rise in prices. The severity of the slowing economy and job losses will largely depend on whether the Federal Reserve is able to engineer a “soft landing”. In either case, the Kansas City economy is likely to see slower employment growth over the next few months.