1,900 manufacturing job losses in KC so far in 2019. What's driving the layoffs?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the report Tuesday

KMBZ News Staff
October 24, 2019 - 5:59 am

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a new report showing that so far this year in Kansas City, around 1,900 manufacturing jobs have been lost.

Former Kansas City Manufacturing Network Executive Director Donna Gordon told KMBZ it's been a tough year for the manufacturing industry in KC.

"One of the drivers that is hurting the manufacturing sector in Kansas City was the Harley Davidson plant closure," Gordon said. 

The ongoing General Motors strike isn't helping, either. 

It's not all doom and gloom, though. Gordon says that changes in the industry mean that new jobs will be available. And the workforce is getting older.

The average machinist is 54, and the average welder is 61-years-old. That means new jobs will be available to a new generation. 

"It's kind of a perfect strom in terms of opportunities for young folks and for education," Gordon explained. "You can kind of look at the skill sets that need to be developed."

Gordon added that the manufacturing industry is coping with the rise of automation and a trade war between the U.S. and China, neither of which are helping create manufacturing jobs in Kansas City. 

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