Kansas City area employers provided 23,200 more jobs in July 2015 than July 2014, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ establishment payroll survey.
That 2.3 percent year-over-year employment gain was slightly undercut by a 9,400 drop in area employment from June to July this year, a decline that could represent seasonal employment conditions in education among other sectors.
On the unemployment side, the labor bureau’s household survey indicated a Kansas City area jobless rate of 5.5 percent in July. That estimate was 0.2 percentage points higher than the June rate, but it was 0.6 percentage points lower than in July a year ago.
The new report said there were about 62,300 unemployed job hunters in the area in July, compared with 58,700 in June and 68,700 in July 2014.
The size of the Kansas City area labor force was pegged at 1,128,300 workers in July.
According to the report, the Missouri side of the metro, with 56 percent of the workforce, accounted for nearly three-fourths of the area’s job growth with the addition of 17,200 jobs from July 2014 to July 2015. The Kansas side of the metro area, with 44 percent of the workforce, gained 6,000 jobs over the year.
The bureau’s surveys of 387 metropolitan areas nationally found that 359 of them had lower unemployment rates in July 2015 than July 2014 and 322 of them had over-the-year growth in nonfarm payroll employment.
The monthly data once again showed that the college towns of Manhattan and Lawrence in Kansas and Columbia, Mo., have particularly healthy job markets, showing jobless rates of 4.4 percent, 4.8 percent and 4.3 percent.
The national unemployment rate for July, figured on the same nonseasonally adjusted basis as the local rates, was 5.6 percent.