Despite a summer slump, KC-area jobs show a year-over-year gain

Job data for the Kansas City area in July sent contrary signals about labor market trends.

According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Wednesday, area employers had about 14,000 more workers on payroll in July 2013 than July 2012, and there were about 1,300 fewer unemployed job hunters.

Those numbers showed year-over-year improvement — a 1.4 percent gain in payroll jobs and a small drop in the area’s unemployment rate to 7.1 percent from 7.2 percent.

The month-to-month numbers for this summer painted a less rosy picture.

Kansas City area establishments reported about 10,300 fewer payroll jobs in July 2013 than June 2013, and the household survey estimated a monthly increase of about 5,400 unemployed workers.

According to the July report, there were 1,007,700 employees on the area’s non-farm payrolls and 75,700 unemployed workers.

The Kansas City area is one of 372 metropolitan areas studied by the statistics bureau. It joined 320 of them in July that had lower unemployment rates than a year ago. And it joined 319 of them in showing increases in payroll jobs.

Around the country, metropolitan area unemployment rates in July ranged from a low of 2.5 percent in Bismarck, N.D., to a high of 34.5 percent in Yuma, Ariz.

The national jobless rate average was 7.7 percent in July, figured on the same non-seasonally adjusted basis as the metropolitan statistics.

Over the July-to-July period, the biggest job gainers were the metro areas of New York, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. The biggest job losers were the metro areas of Cleveland, Peoria, Ill., and Charlottesville, Va.