Steady as she goes describes the November '91 unemployment report for Douglas County, which was released this morning by the Kansas Department of Human Resources.
The report showed that the local job market rode out November's sluggish economy with a jobless rate of 3.3 percent, the same unemployment level recorded for October this year and for November 1990.
"There wasn't much movement," Kathy Ketchum, a KDHR spokesman, said.
Last year, the jobless level increased to 3.6 percent in December.
The local jobless rate for November continued to run below the statewide level. The KDHR reported that the Kansas' unemployment rate for November dipped to 4.2 percent, down from 4.4 percent the previous month and from 4.3 percent in November 1990.
In Douglas County, November construction employment posted a seasonal 200-job decrease from October levels, reducing the number of people employed in that profession to 1,500. That change was the largest fluctuation in any category of employment for November.
A YEAR earlier, 1,800 people were employed in construction trades. Employment in that category has been running 100 to 200 jobs behind 1990 levels since April.
Employment in retail trade also registered a seasonal increase of 100 jobs in November, bringing the local employment total in that category to 7,100. A year earlier, retail trade also added 100 jobs, bringing the month's total to 7,300.
Service industry employment lost 100 jobs for the month, while government employment, which includes local public schools, gained 100 over the October '91 total. Employment totals in those two categories were 8,500 and 12,700.
The November '91 total for government jobs was even with the level a year earlier, while service sector employment was 400 jobs higher than in November 1990.
Ketchum noted that service sector employment in 1991 consistently had been several hundred jobs higher than comparable levels a year earlier. In April '91, employment in service industries accounted for 700 more jobs than in the same month a year earlier.
"I THINK you probably have some real growth there," Ketchum said, but added that she could point to no specific cause for the increase.
"I don't find that too surprising considering your labor force in Lawrence," she said, noting that Douglas County has a high proportion of white-collar employment and businesses that require the services of other businesses.
The KDHR counted Douglas County's total civilian labor force at 45,199, down 175 from October and 86 from November 1990.
The number of people working in November '91 was 43,719, a decrease of 156 from October '91 and 61 from November '90.
However, the number of people counted as unemployed, those actively looking for work, declined during November '91. That number stood at 1,480 for the month, a decline of 19 from October and of 25 from November 1990.
For other cities around the state, the KDHR reported the following November '91 unemployment rates: Emporia 5.1 percent, Hutchinson 5, Kansas City 6.8, Leavenworth 5.1, Lenexa 2.9, Manhattan 3, Olathe 3.6, Overland Park 2.8, Salina 4, Shawnee 3, Topeka 4.7 and Wichita 4.3.
THE NOVEMBER jobless rates in counties include: Allen 4.6 percent, Barton 3.8, Bourbon 5.2, Cherokee 6.2, Clay 4.9, Cloud 2.7, Cowley 4.7, Crawford 4.5, Dickinson 4.1, Ellis 3.4, Finney 3.8, Franklin 6.2, Geary 6, Labette 5.4, McPherson 3.6, Miami 5.3, Morris 3.9, Norton 2.8, Rice 5.1, Russell 3, Seward 4.4, Sherman 3.3, Sumner 2.5, and Thomas 2.5.
Linn County had the highest unemployment rate at 9.1 percent.