Workplace

Data KC: Salaries higher in the city, KC regional data show

Incomes vary widely across the Kansas City region, and a look at government data shows wages generally decrease the farther one gets from the heart of the metro area.

It’s no surprise Johnson County, known for good schools and government services, and prosperous suburbs, has the highest average weekly wage at $1,087, according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the first quarter of 2015.

Jackson and Wyandotte counties, despite some low-income areas, are second and third, ahead of Clay and Platte in the Northland.

One rural county did well, though: Linn County, with an average wage rivaling Platte County’s and better than Leavenworth County’s. In addition, wages in Linn County increased the most of any in the area from a year ago, nearly 11 percent.

The county’s director of economic development, Dennis Arnold, said his area had seen upward wage pressure from upgrade work at the La Cygne power plant and from Fabcon, a precast concrete company that bought and revived a plant in Pleasanton.

Conversely, besides having the lowest incomes in the region, Bates and Caldwell counties also saw their averages drop more than 2 percent from a year ago. Rural counties also can be more prone to percentage changes, given their small workforces.

Greg Hack: 816-234-4439, @GregHack

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