Kansas City Employment Forecast
Total employment in the Kansas City, Kansas metropolitan area* increased by just shy of 5,900 workers in 2021, a growth of 1.3%. The global pandemic’s impact on the economy decreased jobs by 51,000 jobs in April of 2020. Since then, the region has added back 54,300 workers. In 2022, the first two quarters had 2.2 and 1.9% annualized growth, representing a stronger growth year for the area.
The economy is forecast to increase by 1.1%, adding over 5,100 workers, which is a moderating growth rate due to the labor market approaching full employment and the tightening monetary policy. Although global and national market conditions are slowing, the Kansas City area is expected to have one of the strongest growths within the state. The lower bound growth rate for the Kansas City area is 0.3%, which remains stronger than the flat growth at the state level and the declining expectations in some of the other markets.
Employment in the production sectors is forecast to increase by 1.4%, led by the growth in the durables goods manufacturing sector. The durable goods sector is expected to add over 570 jobs in 2023 at an annual growth rate of 2.7%. Although this industry segment is facing broader macroeconomic pressures, the region is expected to continue its growth in both automotive and related activities. The non-durables manufacturing, natural resources, and construction subsectors are expected to have more moderate growth.
Trade, transportation, and utilities employment is expected to expand by 0.5%. The transportation and utilities sector is forecast to be the fastest-growing sector, whereas the retail portion will slow. The slowing growth within the retail sectors is driven primarily by the persistent inflation eroding household purchasing power.
The service sectors are projected to add more than 3,782 jobs, growing 1.5%. The professional & business and health services sectors both are projected to lead the growth in 2023, each increasing by 1.8%. The slowest industry within this segment is the financial sector, which is anticipated to add 174 jobs over the next year.
The labor market conditions for households remain robust, as employers continued to add jobs in 2022 and are anticipated to expand by 0.6% in 2023. The growth will put further pressure on the market and will likely decrease unemployment over the next two years.
Inflation-adjusted taxable retail sales grew by 13.3% in 2021 and 6.2% in 2022, as market economic conditions led to increased purchasing power. In 2022, as the economy opened up after the global pandemic, consumption spending shifted from retail to service-related expenses like restaurants and entertainment.
*The Kansas City, Kansas metropolitan area portion includes Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, and Wyandotte Counties.
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