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Kansas City claims recent increase in college grads

Despite the Kansas City School District’s recent history of underperformance, Kansas City has a residential population that has become one of the most educated constituencies in the country.

It’s good news about educational attainment for a city that recently lost accreditation of its primary and secondary education system weeks ago. Low-quality primary and secondary system traditionally discourage educated populations from transferring to their areas.

Kansas City managed to overcome the shortfall.

According to a study by the Brookings Institute, more than 32 percent of residents above the age of 25 have at least a bachelor’s degree, marking a 4.5 percent increase throughout the past decade. The average proportion of college graduates for the top 100 cities in the study is 31.8 percent.

The proportional distribution is good enough to rank the area 27th in the study’s top 100 list.

UMKC and nearby schools such as the University of Kansas, University of Missouri- Columbia and Missouri State University supply the city with a bulk of its college graduate population.

With regard to the impact of attainment, though, the implications of the study are considered dubious. A growth in education is typically commensurate with a growth in job opportunity.

However, the area ranked high as the second worst city for job loss last year in a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to the BLS report, Kansas City lost 1.3 percent of its employment force last year, totaling more than 12,000 jobs. Atlanta was the only city with a worse drop at 1.4 percent.

Researchers in the Brookings report mentioned that the average Kansas City worker possesses more years of educational training than the available jobs in the area require.

ltrigg@unews.com

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