Statistics say the Kansas City labor market is pretty hot.
The metro area’s unemployment rate in April 2016 was estimated at 3.9 percent, a full percentage point below April 2015, and employers added a net 11,600 jobs to their payrolls over the 12 months.
According to the monthly report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released June 1, there were nearly 12,000 fewer people in the Kansas City area who were hunting for work in April this year than in April a year earlier.
At the same time, the area’s labor force grew by nearly 4,500 workers.
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The statistics, while good on paper, put the Kansas City area in so-so territory compared to some of the hottest U.S. labor markets. Ames, Iowa, had the nation’s lowest jobless rate, 2 percent.
The Kansas cities of Lawrence, Manhattan, Topeka and Wichita all scored under 3.8 percent unemployment, as did the Missouri cities of Columbia, Jefferson City and St. Joseph.
The labor bureau, which surveys 387 metropolitan areas, said April unemployment ranged all the way up to 20.1 percent in El Centro, Calif.
Overall, 195 metro areas had April unemployment rates below the U.S. average of 4.7 percent, 15 areas were equal to it and 177 areas had rates above it.
On the employment side, the Kansas City area was estimated to have 1.1 percent more payroll jobs in April 2016 than in April 2015, a net gain of 11,600 jobs.
The labor bureau estimated that 1,051,600 employees were drawing paychecks from area employers in April this year. Net gains mostly have been recorded on the Missouri side of the metro area.