Economic forecast gives blunt warning to KC region

In his annual economic forecast for the Kansas City region, economist Frank Lenk warned that the area could be falling behind.

According the report from Lenk, director of research services for the Mid-America Regional Council, the area is generating too little economic growth and creating too few “quality jobs.” Additionally, household income is rising too slowly.

And in an economic age driven increasingly be information and technology, simply keeping pace with the gains that the nation sees as a whole won’t do.

Other cities of similar size – the ones Kansas City competes against to attract and keep growing businesses and skilled labor – are outpacing this region.

However, November’s calendar is filling up with events that will help shape how well the Kansas City area can switch from keeping up to catching up; and voters will decide Nov. 7 whether to push ahead on a proposed $1 billion terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

“If Kansas City wants to remain competitive and attract companies like the future Garmins and future Cerners you have to compete. And if you don’t compete you don’t win,” said Mariner Kemper, CEO of UMB Financial Corp. in Kansas City.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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