We Create Jobs

Download the “We Create Jobs” Report

Headlines often boast of companies coming to Kansas City and opening their doors to anywhere from 300 to 1,000 new employees. Entrepreneurs, in comparison, are a job-creating powerhouse, working outside of the spotlight to deliver an average of 17,089 new jobs to Kansas City, every single year.

First-time employers who employed fewer than 20 employees created 19,771 new jobs in 2022. These new and young firms contributed an average of 17,089 new jobs to the Kansas City metro area each year from 2018 to 2022.

“We Create Jobs” is a report from KCSourceLink that quantifies the impact of new and young firms to Kansas City’s economy. Connecting the data from Kansas City with the existing theory pertaining to entrepreneurship is a positive step in supporting civic leaders in their quest to boost economic activity.


We Create Jobs was last updated in February 2024. New updates include:

  • Job contributions by Kansas City startups through 2022\
  • Survival rate of KC startups vs. national firms
  • Comparison of startup wages to the living wage
  • Job creation by KC startups and tech startups from 2018-2022
  • Number of KC startups by industry
  • Number of KC tech startups by segment
  • Average startup density by industry in Kansas City
  • All KC startup wages vs. KC tech startup wages vs. KC non-tech startup wage vs. KC average wage vs. living wage vs. poverty wage

Now, more than ever, our startups need you to tell the story of the jobs they deliver and of their economic impact.

The COVID-19 crisis and the emergency measures taken to slow its spread wreaked havoc on entrepreneurs and small business owners across the state: shops closed, capital investments for new startups slowed and markets shifted. But the data suggests that many entrepreneurs saw opportunity during the pandemic, creating new startups and new jobs. This report focuses on business recovery and economic growth that occurred as the pandemic ended.

Historically, we know that Kansas City startups are vital to our economy.


New and young firms are the primary source of job creation in the U.S. economy, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In fact, the Kauffman Foundation reports that these new businesses account for a disproportionate amount of new job growth, creating nearly all net new job creation and almost 20 percent of gross job creation.

In 2022, KC startups—defined in “We Create Jobs” as first-time employers in the nine-county KC metro area with fewer than 20 employees—created 19,771 jobs. From 2018 to 2022, the cumulative job-creating impact resulted in 86,429 jobs, accounting for 66% of all new jobs and 8% of the total employment in the Kansas City metro area.


“We Create Jobs” quantifies the impact of new and young firms to Kansas City’s economy. Using data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages for Missouri and Kansas, KCSourceLink calculated the number of jobs from first-time employers by looking at employers who paid for unemployment insurance for the first time. KCSourceLink further sorted that number to include only those employers with 20 or fewer employees in the Kansas City nine-county metro area.


In addition to jobs created by first-time employers, the report also provides year-to-year comparison data regarding job creation by new and young firms and by the tech sector as well as wage growth and the industrial density of startups.

Further highlights from the report include:

  • First-time employers who employed fewer than 20 employees created 19,771 new jobs in the Kansas City area in 2022. These firms created an average of 17,089 jobs each year from 2018-22.
  • Accounting for the employees these same firms hire in each succeeding year and accounting for job losses as well, first-time employers from 2018-22 created 86,429 jobs in 2022. This accounted for 66% of all new jobs in the Kansas City metro and about 8% of the total employment.
  • Tech sector new job wages in the metro area start 55% higher than the average wage of all new jobs, making that sector a key focus for job growth. In Kansas City, new tech sector firms created 1,767 jobs in 2022 and averaged 1,278 new jobs from 2018-22.
  • Using the hiring of a first employee as a proxy for startup, data reveals there were 9,008 startup firms in the KC area in 2022.
  • The startup average wage exceeded the Kansas City metro annual wage. In 2022 the average wage paid by new entrepreneurial firms was $80,726, compared with the average metro wage of $68,667.

Have questions or comments about the We Create Jobs report or need help hiring your first employee? Contact us at 816-235-6500 or at [email protected].

Download the We Create Jobs report

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