As the calendar turned to January, “2020” had dual meaning for the Kansas City Fed. Besides marking the New Year, that number—roughly 2,020—reflected the total number of employees across the Bank.
That’s a long way from staffing levels 100 years ago. As the Bank’s scope of work has evolved, Tenth District employment has more than doubled since 1920.
That year there were 863 employees across the District, with 547 assigned to the headquarters. At that time the head office was in the R.A. Long Building at the northwest corner of 10th and Grand streets in downtown Kansas City. The following year the Bank consolidated head office employees at a newly constructed building at 925 Grand. It remained there until 2008, when it moved to the current headquarters at 1 Memorial Drive. Since that move, which involved 800 employees, the number of head office workers has doubled, to more than 1,600.
The 1920 employment figure included 97 workers listed for the Oklahoma City Branch, which opened in August of that year. The Denver Branch, which opened in 1918, had 83 employees in 1920; the Omaha Branch, which opened in 1917, had 136 employees.
A look even farther back—to 1914, the year the Kansas City Fed was established—provides a glimpse of how quickly employment grew. On Dec. 31 of that year, the Bank had 38 employees, all in Kansas City. By 1921, total District employment had climbed to 925, boosted in part by the World War I Liberty Bond program.