Kansas City mayor Sly James recently released a two-year report on his time in office. Click here to read it.
By DAVE HELLING
“When I took office two years ago, I assured Kansas Citians that I would get to work addressing the ‘4 Es’ — Education, Efficiency, Employment, and Enforcement,” he wrote. “Those ‘4 Es’ have driven my focus as Mayor.”
Education remains a challenge, and efficiency and enforcement can be hard to measure.
But employment can be identified. On that front, James has some good news to report, although the full picture is complicated.
In March of 2013, Kansas City’s unemployment rate was 6.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s better than the 7.1% rate in March 2012 or 8.9% in March 2011, the month before James took office.
But the unemployment rate here was coming down even before James won the mayor’s office. In 2010, Kansas City’s unemployment rate was 9.7% — it began to shrink under Mark Funkhouser.
In fact, unemployment here dropped faster between 2010 and 2011 than it did from 2012 to 2013.
James can point to the employment improvements with some pride. But prior trends, and national economic policies, obviously played some role in the local employment picture.