Rural counties in the United States are shedding population at an unprecedented rate, a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture says. The rate of job growth in nonmetropolitan counties since the Great Recession has been only about half that of urban counties.
The October unemployment rate is the lowest recorded in Kansas since 2000. But there has been little change in the number of jobs or the number of people employed in Kansas
Total tax receipts in Kansas came in nearly $32 million higher than expected in October, raising the total surplus so far this fiscal year to nearly $105 million. The monthly report from the Department of Revenue comes one day before budget officials meet to revise their revenue estimates for the fiscal year.
President Trump has been described as a "nativist" who campaigned for president by railing against immigration and free trade agreements. Perhaps ironically, though, in Kansas he was most popular in areas of the state that are most dependent on immigrant labor and foreign trade.
In an era when free trade agreements and the influx of immigrant labor are highly controversial issues nationally, experts who spoke at the annual Kansas Economic Policy Council on the KU campus said Thursday that the Kansas economy is heavily reliant on both.
Private-sector employment in Kansas grew by 5,500 jobs, or 0.5 percent in September as the unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point, to 3.8 percent. The Lawrence area job market added nearly 3,000 jobs as students and faculty returned to campus, lowering the local unemployment rate to 2.9 percent.
Employment in Kansas is expected to grow a mere 0.1 percent in 2018, according to a forecast from the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University. The author of that report says it's the result of full employment and a tight labor market in Kansas that could force wages to go up in the near future.
Led by a big increase in individual income tax receipts, the state of Kansas enjoyed a prosperous September, with total tax revenues coming in 10 percent higher than expected and 15 percent higher than the same month last year.
The child poverty rate in Kansas fell 5 percentage points, to 14 percent, from 2012 to 2016, according to a national study on child well-being in the United States. Gov. Sam Brownback attributed the decline to his welfare reform initiatives.
The state's unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a point in August as job growth in the state remained relatively flat.