Data KC: Support services keep our cities clean and residents employed

One of the more unusual groupings of business establishments in the Census Bureau’s Economic Census is Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services.

Then again, my administrative assistant friends have told me enough stories about cleaning up their bosses’ messes, literally and figuratively, that perhaps the pairing makes perfect sense.

The Economic Census, taken every five years, counts up all sorts of businesses. Some interesting nuggets in the numbers for our five-county area:

▪ Of the 2,550 businesses counted in the overall category, nearly all — 2,457 — fall into the administrative and support category. So fewer than 100 — just 93 — are in the ickier but oh-so-necessary waste management and remediation category.

▪ Of the main subcategories, building services was by far the largest, with 1,145 business establishments. Those include everything from janitorial (401 businesses) and landscaping (546) to pest control and carpet cleaning (64 businesses each).

▪ The area’s 360 employment services themselves employ nearly 25,000 people, even missing exact data from Wyandotte and Platte counties. Adding in estimated head counts for Wyandotte and Platte, the total tops 28,000.

▪ Of those 360 employment businesses, 248 are temp services.

▪ Sixty travel agencies are standing by to help you with your next business trip — or vacation, for that matter — and 22 firms organize conventions and trade shows.

▪ Though fictional detectives star in TV series and paperbacks, in real life (at least in KC) plain old security guard, patrol and security system businesses outnumber investigation services 110 to 23.


Greg Hack: 816-234-4439, @GregHack