Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Unemployment Rate Fell; Average Pay Up

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Unemployment Rate Fell; Average Pay Up

Article excerpt

Kansas' unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent in October, down from September and from October 2013.

The rate had been 4.7 percent in September and 5.2 percent in October 2013. The labor force contracted by about 79 people compared to September, but most of the falling rate appeared to be due to more people working and fewer people being unemployed. More people were in the labor force than in October 2013.

About 1,428,953 people were working in Kansas in October, up 4,274 from September and 25,989 from October 2013. About 4,353 fewer people were unemployed than in September and 10,047 fewer were than in October 2013. The employment survey doesn't track individuals, so it isn't certain whether those who are no longer unemployed got jobs, but when employment is growing at the same time that unemployment is shrinking it appears to be a positive trend.

The unemployment rate in October was 4.0 in the Topeka metropolitan statistical area, which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage and Wabaunsee counties. About 114,717 people were working in October, up 686 compared to September and 2,511 compared to October 2013. About 640 fewer people were unemployed than in September, and 1,386 fewer were unemployed than in October 2013. MSA- level data isn't seasonally adjusted.

Kansas had an estimated 1,396,500 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in October, and increase of about 8,400 from September and 13,800 from October 2013. The job survey uses a different set of data from the employment survey, so the number of employed people and number of jobs often don't match up.

The Topeka MSA had 112,000 jobs in October. That was 500 more than in September and 1,200 more than in October 2013. That put the area squarely in the middle of the five MSAs with seasonally adjusted jobs data for both the month and the year. The Kansas City area was the only one to lose jobs, with about 1,000 fewer than it had in October 2013.

Statewide, largest gains in jobs compared to September were in leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities; and education and health services. …

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