Unemployment rates around the country continued to drop in April, and the Kansas City metropolitan area registered a sizable decline in the number of unemployed job hunters.
According to data published Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the area’s jobless rate plunged to an estimated 3.6 percent in April, down from 4.2 percent in March. A year ago, in April 2016, the area’s unemployment rate was measured at 4 percent.
An estimated 40,061 persons were counted as unemployed in the metro area in April compared to 45,032 a year earlier, the bureau said.
Some economists refer to jobless numbers below 4 percent as “full employment.” That concept indicates that job hunters who are interested in and qualified to fill job openings are generally able to land a job, perhaps not a job they prefer, but employment of some sort.
Meanwhile, the labor department reported that Kansas City area employers added 23,100 payroll jobs over the 12 months, a growth rate of 2.2 percent. There were 1,090,900 employees on establishment payrolls in April 2017 compared to 1,067,800 in April 2016, the report indicated.
The monthly reports are based on two surveys. Unemployment data is based on population surveys; employment numbers come from payroll sampling.
Nationally, unemployment rates were lower in April 2017 than April 2016 in 322 of the 388 metro areas surveyed by the statistics bureau. Nonfarm payroll employment grew in 297 of the metro areas.
When measured on the same non-seasonally adjusted basis as the metropolitan statistics, the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in April, down from 4.7 percent a year earlier.