February 24, 2024

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Kansas Labor Report a ‘Mixed Bag’

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The Kansas unemployment rate ticked up in August, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

The state’s unemployment rate in August rose by two-tenths of a percent from 3.7 to 3.9 percent from July. The Sunflower State’s rate remains below the U.S. rate, which also had a similar bump in August.

Emilie Doerksen, an economist with the Kansas Department of Labor, said total nonfarm estimates increased by 800 jobs in August.

“Some of this growth was offset by decreases in government job estimates as well as temporary layoffs that impacted the manufacturing industry,” Doerksen said.

The private sector has lost 6,300 jobs since last August.

The Kansas unemployment rate ticked up in August, but it remains near historical lows. It’s too early to tell whether the Kansas economy is in any trouble.

Labor estimates are released each month, and Michael Austin, an economist at the Kansas Department of Revenue, said they’re often revised.

“I think the best thing is to wait and see whether this is really a trend,” Austin said. He called the most recent report a “mixed bag.”

Because Kansas continues to have a very low unemployment rate, which means the number of applicants for available jobs is low. In that environment, slow job growth is expected, Austin explained.

“Seeing job losses in a couple of thousand over the year is a concern, but it’s still a little too soon to say whether the Kansas economy is in trouble,” he said.

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