Yael T. Abouhalkah

Missouri now gaining more jobs than Kansas in KC area, but don’t tell Gov. Sam Brownback

The Kansas side of the state line has actually lost jobs in 2015, hardly what Gov. Sam Brownback had promised after cutting taxes in 2013.
The Kansas side of the state line has actually lost jobs in 2015, hardly what Gov. Sam Brownback had promised after cutting taxes in 2013. File photo

Ouch: The number of jobs on the Kansas side of the state line in the Kansas City area is going the wrong way in 2015.

This is not what Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his followers told everyone would happen after he approved income tax cuts for more than 330,000 businesses and farmers in 2012. They said employers would flock to Kansas in this area, sucking jobs out of Missouri.

However, federal Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released Wednesday for the month of May show the following facts:

▪ The Kansas side of the state line was up only 100 jobs over April.

The Missouri side was up 3,300 jobs over April.

▪ Since December 2014, the Kansas side of the state line has lost 2,000 jobs.

But the Missouri side has gained 2,800 jobs in that five-month span.

▪ More notably, over the last 12 months, the Kansas side of the state line has added 6,800 jobs. That’s a growth rate of 1.5 percent.

The situation is better on the Missouri side, where employment is up 12,000. That’s an increase of 2.1 percent.

▪ And over an even longer period — since December 2013 — job growth on the Kansas side is 2.8 percent vs. 2.9 percent on the Missouri side.

Brownback defenders will accurately point out that — since the tax cuts took effect in January of 2013 — jobs have grown by 5 percent on the Kansas side of the state line versus 3.7 percent on the Missouri side.

That’s 22,800 more jobs in Kansas and 20,800 more in Missouri.

Yet the rate of growth of employment on the Kansas side of the state line has slowed in the last 18 months or so. The longer the tax cuts have been in effect, the better the Missouri side is doing in gaining jobs.

Again, that’s not the promise that Brownback made to Kansans when he cut income taxes for those businesses.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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