Kansas unemployment rate holds steady at 2.4% in July, economy adds private-sector jobs

by Tim Carpenter, Kansas Reflector

Topeka — The unemployment rate in Kansas remained at 2.4% in July with growth of 4,000 private-sector jobs and a decline of 500 in the government workforce.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Kansas Department of Labor said a pair of monthly surveys — one of employers and the other of households — indicated Kansas’ jobless rate stood at 2.4% in July and June.

The rate in 2022 has flowed from a high of 2.6% in January to a low of 2.3% in May.

“Kansas and the U.S. have maintained relatively low unemployment rates so far in 2022, with Kansas remaining at 2.4% and the U.S. reaching 3.5% in July,” said Amber Shultz, secretary of the state Department of Labor.

In 2021, the Kansas unemployment rate ranged from 3.8% in January to 2.8% in December. During July of last year, Kansas had a rate of 3.4%.

The seasonally adjusted job estimate for Kansas showed total nonfarm payroll, which includes private sector and government employers, increased by 3,500 in July. That number was the result of 4,000 additional private-sector workers combined with 500 fewer government workers.

Emilie Doerksen, a state labor department economist, said the Kansas manufacturing industry expanded by 1,500 jobs. The growth also reflected 1,000 hires in the trade, transportation and utility sector, she said.

Since July 2021, nonfarm employment has risen by 13,500 in Kansas. It represented 16,700 additional private-sector jobs and a reduction of 3,200 government employees.

The federal labor bureau reported July jobless figures of Kansas’ four border states, compared to June: Nebraska, 2% in July, up from 1.9% in June; Missouri, 2.5%, down from 2.8%; Oklahoma, 3%, up from 2.9%; and Colorado, 3.3%, down from 3.4%.

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Unemployment rate lowest ever in Kansas

Gov. Laura Kelly today announced that Kansas hit the lowest unemployment rate in the state’s recorded history, at 2.3%.

Unemployment continues to decline in the state, even as the unemployment rate nationally holds flat. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kansas has the sixth lowest unemployment rate in the country relative to other states.

“My administration has worked to ensure that every Kansan who wants a job, can have a job,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “I’m proud that we have achieved the lowest unemployment rate in our state’s history at 2.3%, over a full percentage point below the nation’s unemployment rate. We will continue breaking economic records by prioritizing job creation, business investment, and workforce development.”

Preliminary estimates reported by the Labor Market Information Services division of the Kansas Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.3% in May, a decrease from 2.4% in April and a decrease from 3.4% this time last year. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in the United States as a whole has remained at 3.6% for three consecutive months, a rate significantly higher than Kansas estimates.

Kansas began keeping records of monthly unemployment rates in January 1976.

Since the start of the Kelly administration, Kansas has secured 654 economic development projects worth $8,943,214,898.00 in capital investment and has retained and created 43,111 jobs.

According to Kansas Department of Labor statistics, the Wyandotte County unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in May 2022 as compared to 2.9 percent in April 2022. The May 2022 rate represents 2,525 persons who are unemployed. One year ago, in May 2021, the Wyandotte County unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

The Kansas City, Kansas, unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in May 2022 as compared to 2.9 percent in April 2022. The May 2022 rate represents 2,349 persons who are unemployed. In May 2021, the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in Kansas City, Kansas.

Virtual job fair planned Wednesday

A virtual job fair is planned Wednesday, April 20, by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Job seekers will have the opportunity to learn about job openings at the Commerce Department at the job fair, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 20.

Job seekers will be able to chat with Commerce managers and the human resource team members. Job seekers also may participate in the virtual job fair through a computer, smart phone or tablet. Job candidates will be able to upload their resumes to a virtual job fair account prior to the event.

“The team at Kansas Commerce is changing the economic landscape in Kansas – companies are relocating to our state and expanding existing operations every day, bringing with them with high-paying jobs and new opportunities for Kansans,” Lt. Governor and Secretary David Toland said. “Our state continues to accumulate nationwide awards and accolades, and we want you to join us here at the best economic development agency in the country.”

Numerous statewide virtual job fairs have been presented since the pandemic began and are a safe way to successfully connect Kansas job seekers and employers, according to a spokesman.

The April 20 job fair will seek to fill the following open positions at Commerce: program manager for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program; communications coordinator for the Marketing-Communications Division; deputy counsel for the Legal Division; community development specialist; and director of advanced technology in the Office of Innovation.

To register for the virtual job fair, visit https://app.premiervirtual.com/events/b22ab809-af5c-47a2-8dae-fe7a34a454fb/clone-kansas-dept-of-commerce-kansasworks-job-fair-april-20,-2022

Those who need assistance in creating a resume may contact their local workforce center at 877-509-6757.