Each month, economic indicators will be updated here through a partnership between the EDC and the Mid-America Regional Council. MARC is a nonprofit association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region.

The Lawrence economy continues its strong recovery although the data shows a slight drop in employment gains. In April, seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 100 jobs. Overall, Lawrence has now recovered 75% of the jobs lost from the recession. The metro needs to recover 2,200 more jobs to return to its pre-pandemic peak. The unemployment rate for April remains steady from last month at 2.4%.

Lawrence ranks 1st overall in 12-month percent employment growth at 5.3% compared to the other nearby metros. Lawrence’s annual growth is above Manhattan’s growth rate of 2.1%, the metro most like Lawrence. Overall, these data suggest that Lawrence is recovering well relative to the other nearby metros. The total private hourly earnings for Lawrence increased from $26.38 to $26.77.

The economic recovery is progressing well in Lawrence. The high annual growth rate suggests that Lawrence may return to its pre-pandemic peak before the end of the year. Although the data suggests that Lawrence is doing well, this month showed a slight setback in employment growth. Headwinds like inflation, the continuing supply chain issues, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine may slow the recovery. So far, Lawrence has weathered these headwinds well and hopefully will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.