Both Kansas and Missouri unemployment levels are hovering between 2.4% and 2.9% meaning workers entering the workforce or considering a career change find themselves in the driver’s seat.
An unemployment rate at that level is what economists call “full employment” meaning that businesses will have a harder time finding workers; that’s where all the ‘labor shortage’ chatter you may have heard the past few years comes from.
The flip side to a labor shortage is that workers find themselves in a position of power, where finding a good-paying job in some fields is much easier for job seekers.
Those looking to take advantage of the worker-friendly conditions will find opportunities locally. There are good jobs to be found across education levels, according to a study from Georgetown, a bachelors degree isn’t needed for a large chunk of the good jobs available in the area. The study found that in Kansas 42% of jobs that pay $55,000 or more don’t require a four-year degree. The same is true for Missouri where 47% of jobs that pay $55,000 or more don’t require a bachelor’s degree.
In Kansas 42% of jobs that pay $55k or higher don’t require a 4-year degree and in Missouri the number is slightly higher at 47%
Locally in the healthcare field, medical assistants, dental hygienists, and radiologic technologists can earn annual salaries ranging from $35,000 to $60,000 or more. In the skilled trades, electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians can earn annual salaries ranging from $40,000 to $70,000 or more. In the technology field, computer network support specialists and web developers can earn annual salaries ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 or more.
Kansas Works Vice President and Chief Development Officer Amanda Duncan says there are many job opportunities throughout Kansas, and in Wichita there are openings across sectors.
“We also have a lot of opportunities for skilled trades. Welders are always in demand, machinists, CNC machinists, those are highly paid jobs. And we’ve got a number of manufacturing companies in our area that need those skills,” says Duncan. “Wichita has a strong aviation industry, so there are a lot of opportunities in aviation maintenance, avionics, and other related fields. And we’ve got some great training programs in those areas as well.”
The Fastest Growing Job Sectors in Kansas City & Wichita
Healthcare – With an aging population and an increased demand for medical services, the healthcare industry in the area is booming. Jobs in healthcare, such as registered nurses, physical therapists, and medical assistants, are expected to see a growth rate of 20% over the next decade in both Kansas and Missouri.
Technology – As technology continues to evolve and shape our lives, the Kansas City area has become a hotbed for technology-based jobs. The region is seeing a surge in demand for software developers, web designers, and cybersecurity professionals. This industry in our area is expected to grow by 15% over the next decade.
Education – Teaching, teacher’s assistant, administration, and jobs related to education are projected to grow and are, in many places, already understaffed. With the increased demand for skilled educators, this industry is expected to grow by 10% over the next decade.
Construction – The area has seen significant growth in its construction industry and a growing need for skilled construction workers, architects, and engineers. This sector is expected to grow by 8% over the next decade in both Kansas and Missouri.
Hospitality and Tourism – With an influx of tourists, the Kansas City area has become a popular destination for both leisure and business travelers. This has led to a surge in hospitality and tourism-related jobs, such as hotel staff, restaurant workers, and tour guides. This industry is expected to grow by 7% over the next ten years.
(Kansas Department of Labor, 2022; Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, 2022)