Most Recent Kansas Labor Market Report Shows Very Slow Jobs Growth

According to the latest Kansas Department of Labor estimates, the July 2011 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, down from 6.6 percent in June 2011 and down from 7.0 percent a year ago. Kansas Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee states,  “Private sector jobs continued to grow last month — albeit at a snail’s pace. However, we do recognize some encouraging signs in the job gains seen in both the construction and the education and health services areas,”  reflecting the fragile economic recovery both in Kansas and nationwide.

Following are some highlights from the report:

  • Kansas gained 2,400 private sector jobs over the month. Overall however, Kansas lost 18,600 nonfarm jobs over the month, a 1.4 percent decrease.
  •  Over the year, Kansas has lost 400 nonfarm jobs, but private sector jobs were up by 1,300 since July 2010.
  • Six of the 11 major industries in Kansas reported over-the-month job gains. Construction jobs showed the largest gain, adding 2300 jobs, or approximately 4.1%. 
  • Government lost 21,000 jobs, an 8.1 percent decline. Most of these losses were in local government as public schools laid off workers for the summer.
  • Over-the-year job gains were primarily in Education and Health Services, which gained 7,400 jobs, a 4.2% increase over last year.  The majority of these gains were in health care and social assistance.
  • There were 19,706 initial claims for unemployment benefits in July 2011, down from 23,907 a year ago July 2010.

The August 2011 Labor Report will be released September 16, 2011.