Kansas Job Market Improvement Continues to Inch Higher

According to the Kansas Department of Labor May 2012 Labor Report, employment in the private sector increased by 10,800 jobs – 1% – from a year ago, and the unemployment rate is also down. Since April 2012, Kansas gained 5,200 private sector jobs, or 0.5 percent. These monthly increases were mostly because of seasonal changes.

“The good news in this labor report is that we are markedly improved relative to last year,” Karin Brownlee, Kansas Secretary of Labor, said. “Looking from month to month, we seem to be singing ‘second verse, same as the first’ as the changes are very minor.”

Continued unemployment claims in May 2012 were down from both April 2012 and May 2011. Initial claims were up from April but down from one year ago.

“Kansas experienced little change in the labor market from April to May. The number of nonfarm jobs has remained basically flat for the fourth consecutive month. This is a trend that is also apparent in the public sector as budget considerations continue to weigh on local, state and federal government,” Tyler Tenbrink, Labor Economist, said.

Of the 5 major industries that have reported gains since a year ago (May 2011), the strongest is the Professional and Business Services sector, which gained 7900 jobs, or 5.8%.  This sector includes the following:

  • legal advice and representation
  • accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services
  • architectural, engineering, and specialized design services
  • computer services
  • advertising services
  • office administration
  • hiring and placing of personnel
  • security and surveillance services
  • cleaning, and waste disposal services.

Manufacturing gained 4,200 jobs or 2.6 percent. Education and health services increased by 2,200 jobs, a 1.2 percent growth. Six industries saw job losses throughout the year. The industry that lost the most jobs since May 2011 was government.