Kansas Job Market Continues to Improve

The February 2012 Labor Report showed numbers in line with the January report, including continued increases in nonfarm jobs and a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate that remained constant –both January and February had a 6.1% rate. Seasonal changes are influenced by weather, holidays and the closing of schools and are consistently figured in year-to-year, so the seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers are a better indicator of the actual labor market. Kansas gained 18,300 nonfarm jobs since February 2011, creeping up to a 1.4 percent increase over January.

“The February report did not indicate significant change in the Kansas labor market over the month,” Tyler Tenbrink, Labor Economist, said. “The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 6.1 percent.”

Six of the 11 major industries also showed job gains over the month. The manufacturing industry continues to see improvements in the number of jobs and in the hours worked per employee. Both of these are good signs for the Kansas economy.

The professional and business services industry has out-performed the average, gaining 11,900 jobs since February 2011, an 8.2 percent increase. Some of the jobs included in this category (to mention a few) are

  • 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.

“Looking at the February numbers alone would indicate a lukewarm labor market. The over-the-year gains from February 2011 to February 2012 indicate healthy growth, which we hope continues as the year progresses,” Karin Brownlee, Kansas Secretary of Labor, said.