Cass County continues to be on track for robust population growth, says Jeff Pinkerton, senior researcher with the Mid-America Regional Council.
By BETHANY BAHSIOUM
Special to The Star
“According to our population forecast between now and 2040, Cass County is going to grow by 60,000 people,” he said. “That’s pretty doggone significant.”
Pinkerton, who lives in the county, spoke to mayors and economic development leaders at the recent quarterly meeting of the Cass County Corporation of Economic Development.
“People are obviously attracted to a very high quality of life, good schools and things like that,” he said.
The county has roughly 100,000 residents now, and Pinkerton said 60 percent growth won’t come without challenges. One is maintaining quality-of-life standards.
Another piece of good news has to do with employment. Cass County is expected to add 19,000 new jobs within the given time frame. Now, the county has about 23,000 jobs.
“That’s a pretty significant increase in employment,” Pinkerton said.
Pinkerton added that about 12,000 people commute to Cass County from other areas of the region for work. Approximately 30,000 residents find work outside of the county.
In the Kansas City region as a whole, Pinkerton said, new job growth is expected to remain steady as employment lags after the Great Recession.
“I think the biggest problem we have is people still feeling a little bit concerned about their employment situation and not being able to participate as fully in the economy as they would like to,” Pinkerton said.
“Personal consumption is two-thirds of our economy, and if the consumer isn’t there to drive the economy going forward, we’re going to have ramifications.”