Kansas City Sees Job Gains in 2013

The number of Kansas City area payroll jobs slipped slightly in December from November, but 2013 ended with about 7,000 more jobs in the metro area than in December 2012.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday that the Kansas City area unemployment rate also rose slightly from November to December, but on a year-to-year basis the area's jobless rate improved to 5.4 percent at the end of 2013 from 6.4 percent at the end of 2012.

The bureau estimated 1,011,500 employees on establishment payrolls in December 2013, compared with 1,004,500 a year earlier.

Over the year, the size of the area's labor force -- which includes those who are working, looking for work or temporarily not looking -- declined to 1,031,900 in December 2013 from 1,034,700 in December 2012, the bureau said.

Because employment grew and the jobless rate declined, the labor force shrinkage may indicate voluntary dropouts from the area's workforce, possibly because of retirement, moving out of the area or leaving the job market for school, health or family reasons.

According to preliminary employment numbers, the area had 56,200 unemployed workers in December 2013, compared with 61,800 in November 2013 and 66,100 in December 2012.

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