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Area jobless rate rises to 6.9 percent

Updated: 2013-03-22T23:57:06Z

By DIANE STAFFORD

The Kansas City Star

Unemployment rose to 6.9 percent of the Kansas City area labor force in January, up from 6.4 percent in December.

According to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the area’s January 2013 jobless rate compared with a rate of 7.1 percent in January 2012.

Nationally, the unemployment rate in January 2013 was 8.5 percent when figured on the same nonseasonally adjusted basis as the local data.

Total nonfarm payroll employment in the Kansas City area was estimated at 981,900 in January 2013, up 8,300, or 0.9 percent, from a year earlier.

Nationally, nonfarm employment rose 1.5 percent from a year ago.

The Missouri side of the Kansas City area, which employs 55 percent of the area’s workforce, lost about 2,200 jobs since January 2012, the labor bureau said.

The Kansas side, with 45 percent of the area’s workforce, gained 10,500 jobs over the year.

Estimates released Friday said professional and business services showed the biggest employment gain in the metro area, adding 5,800 jobs from January 2012 to January 2013. All of the gains occurred on the Kansas side of the line, the bureau said.

The second-largest number of jobs gained over the year, 3,900, was in the leisure and hospitality sector. All of that growth was on the Missouri side of the line.

The government, at 1,500 jobs, and manufacturing, at 1,000, lost the most jobs over the year, with the losses occurring on the Missouri side.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com.

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