Clay County, Missouri’s, labor pool, featuring a population of more than 2.3 million people with approximately 1.2 million 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 94.6% of the working age population has a high school diploma or higher compared to the national average of 89%. Additionally, 24.6% of residents possess a bachelor’s degree, which is 3.4% above the state average.
Note, while employers paying less than $16/hour will pull from a smaller radius, the population within this radius is still 2.1 million people making it a very strong labor shed
area even for the lower paying companies.
– Clay County’s population has grown by 1.3% since 2015 compared to the US average of 0.7% population growth, and the Clay County labor shed has experienced population growth over the last 5 years as its population has grown by 17,392, an 0.8% increase. In comparison, over the past five years, the U.S. population grew by 0.7% and the County’s population increased by 1.3%. As you will see in the chart above, the labor shed’s population is projected to continue to grow:
– Very few labor markets in America draw from a population of more than 2 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.
As the map indicates 85,105 people who live in Clay County leave the County to work on a daily basis. 66,227 people drive into Clay County from outside the county to work on a daily basis and 41,302 people who live in Clay County also work in Clay County. 13,900 more people are leaving Clay County each day to work than are driving into the county to work creating a strong labor pool for employers within Clay County.
– While Clay County has experienced rapid population growth, more than 85,100 people drive out of Clay County daily to work creating a pool of potential workers for new and expanding businesses.
– Clay County has 55% more people employed in manufacturing than the US average with 13,966 new manufacturing jobs having been created since 2015.
– Clay County’s largest GDP contributor in 2020 was Manufacturing at $2,721,004,000.
– Clay County has 133,349 people in its labor force and 108,915 jobs creating an excess labor pool of 24,434 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 of 70.1% is 6.9% higher than the USA average.