Clay County, Missouri – Labor Study
Clay County, Missouri’s, labor pool, featuring a population of more than 1.3 million people with 600,000+ workers, is both more educated than the national average and has a population growing faster than the national average.
As compared to other parts of the country, most all of which are struggling to provide quality labor, Clay County’s labor market is very strong, here are its strengths:
– A total of 93% of the working age population has a high school diploma or higher compared to the national average of 88%. Additionally, 21.7% of residents possess a bachelor’s degree, which is 5.0% above the state average and 3.1% above the national average.
– Clay County’s population has grown by 6.6% since 2013 compared to the US average of 3.7% population growth, and the Clay County labor shed has experienced population growth over the last 5 years as its population has grown by 54,158 or a 4% increase since 2013. In comparison, over the past five years, the U.S. population grew by 3.7% and Missouri’s population increased by 1.5%. As you will see in the chart below, the labor shed’s population is projected to continue to grow:
– Very few labor markets in America draw from a population of more than 1 million people. The sheer size of the labor market gives Clay County a unique strength.
– The fastest growing counties within the Kansas City MSA are Clay County to the north and Platte County to the north due to the primary manufacturing plants being located mostly north of Kansas City meaning as population grows to the North of Kansas City, Clay County employers will continue to have access to workers.– While Clay County has experienced rapid population growth, more than 70,000 people drive out of Clay County daily to work creating a pool of potential workers for new and expanding businesses.
– Clay County has 30% more people employed in manufacturing than the US average with 5,106 new manufacturing jobs having been created since 2013
– The average manufacturing wage in Clay County is 5.1% lower than the US average.
– Clay County has 136,170 people in its labor force and 114,903 jobs creating an excess labor pool of 21,807 people just within Clay County.
– Among company executives we interviewed in-person who had worked at other facilities in different parts of the USA, we were told the ability to hire and retain workers in Clay County is easier than most other locations where they have worked.
– Clay County’s labor force participation rate is 7% better than the USA average.