Business and Economics

This section highlights some of the most helpful resources about Business and Economic issues in KCResearch on the topics listed below. Many of the resources also aim to answer some of the questions that you might have. This guide will help answer questions like:

  • I’m buying a home in Overland Park, and selling my home in Kansas City, Kansas. What’s the property tax rate difference between the two localities?
  • How does the current minimum wage compare to the estimated living wage for Kansas City?
  • I’m considering applying to nursing school. What’s the average salary for nurses in Kansas City?

Cost of Living

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Kansas City

CPI explained

Produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure estimating the average price of consumer goods and services purchased by households over time. It is based on the price change for a constant market basket of goods and services from one period to the next within a given region. The first link is a report that provides the CPI for the Kansas City metropolitan area from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010. The second link explains, in more, detail about what the Consumer Price Index is.

The Cost of Living Index for Missouri, which includes Data on Kansas City

Cost of Living Index Homepage

Taken from the annual report generated by Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), the Cost of Living Index offers city-to-city comparisons of costs of various types of goods and services in several hundred urban areas. The data used to generate the report featured on the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s website uses the information from the C2ER’s report, and has interpreted it into a graph and map to show how Missouri stacks up against the rest of the nation and how Kansas City fares among other cities in Missouri.
The full report may be accessed for an additional fee from C2ER’s website.

Economic Development

The 2010 State New Economy Index: Benchmarking Economic Transformation In the States

In this 2010 report by the International technology and Information foundation (ITIF) and the Kauffman foundation, researchers used 29 indicators to assess the extent to which state economies (including those of Kansas and Missouri) are knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, information technology-driven, and innovation-based — that is, structured and operating according to the tenets of the New Economy. The report ranks the states accordingly. With these rankings as a frame of reference, the report describes new, state-level public policies needed to meet contemporary economic challenges.
2008 version
2007 version

Embracing Dynamism: The Next Phase in Kansas Economic Development Policy

This 2010 report was produced by Dr. Arthur P. Hall, the executive director at the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas School of Business. The report was underwritten and published by Kansas, Inc., an independent, non-partisan organization established in 1985 in an effort to conduct economic research and analysis relevant to the state’s ongoing economic development efforts. Included within the report are critiques of Kansas’ existing economic development policy, and recommendations for its improvement. In particular, the report suggests that the present “industry-centric” focus of economic development efforts should be discarded in favor of a “region-centric” focus.

Income and Wages

Pulling Apart: A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends

This study, based on inflation-adjusted Census Bureau data, examines income inequality at the state level. Analysis covers post-federal tax changes in real incomes among high-, middle-, and low-income families in each of the 50 states from the late 1970s to the late 1980s until recently, examining similar points in the business cycle. Data has been adjusted to account for inflation, the impact of federal taxes, and the cash value of food stamps, subsidized school lunches, housing vouchers, and other government transfers, such as Social Security and welfare benefits. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute — both Washington, D.C. based non-profit research and policy institutes — contributed to this study.

Kansas City, MO–KS National Compensation Survey: August 2010

The National Compensation Survey is an annually updated report by the Bureau of Labor and statistics, the most recent version uses data taken from 2010, but was published in 2011. In this report, tables summarize results for the Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area including wage information for employees in a variety of occupations and at different work levels. 906,200 employees and 285 establishments in private industry and state and local government are represented. Agricultural establishments, private households, the self-employed, and the Federal Government were excluded from the survey. Also contained in the report is a technical note describing survey procedures, and an appendix with detailed information on occupational classifications.

Income Data and Charts for Kansas City, Missouri

Income Data and Charts for Kansas City, Kansas

City Data uses data from 2009 research to chart income in Kansas City among different demographics. Additionally, it provides information regarding income distribution, types of occupations across demographics. The data is presented in pie and bar graphs for quick visual understanding of information.


The Kansas City Region: Economic Opportunity in the Heartland

Sponsored by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, this 2005 paper discusses Kansas City’s industry composition — that is, the concentrations of related businesses and industries that compose the local economic base. Comparisons to national industries are included. The paper aims to assess Kansas City’s industrial specialization and diversification, as well as its role in the broader regional economy.

Long-Term Industry Trends in the Regions of Kansas, 1969-2000: Part I — An Industry Focus

This 2005 report was jointly prepared by Dr. Arthur Hall, executive director of the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas School of Business and Dr. Peter Orazem, Koch Visiting Professor of Business Economics at the University of Kansas School of Business. In addition to a historical overview of Kansas’ economy, the report provides a reference for comparing specific industry performance trends throughout varying regions within the state, and the nation. According to the authors’ discussion of methodology, “This report relies on the close correlation in Kansas between per-worker compensation and productivity in order to use the trends in per-worker compensation as a proxy for relative productivity trends among the various regions of Kansas.” This report is the first of seven companion reports that consider long-term economic trends in Kansas from varying perspectives.


Property Tax Comparisons Among Kansas Localities and Select Cities of the United States

This 2006 study was underwritten and published by Kansas, Inc., an independent, non-partisan organization established in 1985 in an effort to conduct economic research and analysis relevant to the state’s ongoing economic development efforts. The study uses hypothetical homestead, commercial, and industrial properties to accurately compare property tax burdens across 118 Kansas localities and selected cities throughout the United States, over decade-by-decade intervals, from 1975 to 2005. An appendix to the report includes methodology and assumptions.

The Effect of Proposed Tax Reforms on Metropolitan Housing Prices

Sponsored by the Tax Institute of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, this 2010 study explains a potential effect of the Obama Administration’s proposed tax reform upon equilibrium housing prices in twenty-three metropolitan areas, including Kansas City. Although none of President Obama’s proposed tax reforms are directed at changing the value of housing, the results of the study indicate that the tax proposal could reduce home values, further weakening an already diminished housing sector.

The Property Tax in Missouri

This brief report prepared by Brad Hudson, a Missouri county assessor, provides information concerning the state’s property tax system. The report explains how property taxes are assessed and levied in Missouri, and how they affect individual taxpayers.

Homeowner’s Guide to Property tax in Kansas

The Homeowner’s guide to property tax is a concise guide prepared by the Barton county Assessor in Kansas explaining how personal property is valued and assessed for tax purposes. It also includes information that every Kansas homeowner should know about when and how to list property.

Work and Unemployment

2006 - 2016 Kansas Occupational Outlook: Executive Summary

Produced by the Kansas Department of Labor, this report provides a ten-year projection for job availability in various industries and occupations throughout Kansas. Data is specified for seven regions within the state, including the Kansas City region. Projections were produced using 2006 as the base-year employment. Wage and educational information are also included in the report.

Missouri's Employment Outlook 2006-2016

This report, produced by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s (MERIC) Projections Group, provides both industry and occupational employment projections, estimating the state’s growth and decline in jobs, output, and labor force over the ten-year period of 2006-2016. The projections program is federally funded through the Employment and Training Administration, an agency within the United States Department of Labor. MERIC’s multi-step methodology used for developing employment projections — based on past and present trends — is fully described within the report.

County Employment and Wages



Issued by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, these reports present employment and wages data provided by employers at the county level. 98 percent of jobs are represented. The report for Kansas covers the second quarter of 2010; the report for Missouri covers the third quarter of 2010. Wage changes and average weekly wages are provided for large counties including Shawnee, Johnson, and Wyandotte in Kansas, and Clay and Jackson in Missouri. Average weekly wages for smaller counties are also included.