Thanks to increases in retail and government jobs, Lawrence's unemployment rate dropped from 3.3 percent in September to 2.8 percent in October, the Kansas Department of Human Resources announced today.
The October jobless rate for the state was 4.2 percent, down 0.1 percent from the previous month, the department said in its monthly report.
Andrea Curry, the department's director of communications, said Lawrence's jobless rate of 2.8 percent in October was lower than the October 1988 rate of 3.2 percent.
The size of the local civilian labor force is 41,750, with 40,582 having jobs and 1,168 unemployed, she said.
"It appears that there were more jobs in retail trade," Curry said.
"THE PRIMARY increases were trade industry and government sector."
Manufacturing and construction employment remained steady at about the same level for October, she said.
The department's monthly report shows that in October, 1,211,132 people were working in Kansas, compared with 1,205,958 the previous month.
At the same time, 52,942 people were looking, down from 54,173 in September and 57,354 in October 1988. The state's unemployment for that month was 4.5 percent.
Over the month, every industry in the state showed some growth in the number of jobs, except for mining and services. The number of jobs in farming increased in October by 2,200 due to seasonal employment, the report said. Such seasonal work provided 1,100 jobs last year during the harvest.
The Wichita area unemployment rate climbed from 4.4 percent in September to 5.8 percent in October. The jobless rate for the city of Wichita itself was 6.5 percent.
THE INCREASED unemployment rate was due to layoffs at several small firms that served the Boeing Military Airplane Co., which was embroiled in a machinists' strike.
In October of last year, the Wichita area unemployment rate was 4.8 percent. Services, government and manufacturing industries showed employment growth over the year, but that growth was more than offset by the layoffs this fall because of the strike.
The Topeka area unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent in October. In September, the rate was 5 percent, while last year in October, the Topeka jobless rate was 4.9 percent. The unemployment rate for Topeka itself was 4.4 in October.
Employment in construction was up in Topeka, the report said, but despite improved employment, several industry categories reported small job losses over the month. Those included manufacturing, transportation and public utilities and services. However, most industries reported increased employment over the year, with only transportation, public utilities and services showing fewer jobs than in 1988.