employers don't account for an increase in the local jobless rate.
The Douglas County jobless rate jumped to 3.6 percent in December even though the number of people working for local employers was virtually unchanged.
The December unemployment rate was up from 3.2 percent in November and from 3.5 percent in December of 1992, according to the monthly report released this morning by the Kansas Department of Human Resources.
Kathy Ketchum, KDHR spokeswoman, said the increase was the result of seasonal fluctuations typical of the end of the year. In 1992, the jobless rate rose from 3.1 percent in November to 3.5 percent in December.
However, Ketchum said that unlike other employment cycles in Douglas County, this one doesn't appear to be tied to the academic calendar.
``Even in Douglas County, that increase in unemployment has less to do with the end of the semester than it does with seasonal changes such as losses in construction. These are only partially offset by seasonal increases in trade,'' she said.
However, Ketchum noted that the upward pressure on the county unemployment rate didn't appear to be coming from local employers.
``If you look at the place of work data, it shows virtually no change, so I'd have to say that it's probably commuters and self-employed people,'' she said.
In both November and December, county employers had 41,000 people on their payrolls. Decreases of 100 jobs in construction, manufacturing and government were matched by a 200-job increase in retail trade and a 100-job gain in the service sector.
Yet the number of people counted as unemployed in December rose by 225, creating the 0.4 percent increase in the jobless rate.
KDHR has not yet computed an average unemployment rate for Douglas County for 1993. The monthly rates ranged from a low of 3.2 percent in November to 4.8 percent in June. The 1992 average was 3.2 percent.
The Kansas unemployment rate also rose, to 4.5 percent in December, up from 4.3 percent a month earlier.