Topeka — Kansas' unemployment rate rose seasonally in January, but still was well below what it was a year earlier, the Department of Human Resources reported Tuesday.
The January jobless rate was 4.0 percent, up from 3.2 percent in December but still better than the January 1998 rate of 4.4 percent. In Lawrence, the area jobless rate was 4.2 percent in January, up from 3.2 percent in December but lower than the 4.7 percent rate of January 1998.
Roger Aeschliman, acting secretary, called the January rate "very good for this time of year."
"The Kansas economy is still extremely strong," Aeschliman said. "It is typical, and certainly nothing out of the ordinary, for the unemployment rate to go up slightly after the holiday season."
He said the national jobless rate for January was 4.6 percent.
In the major metropolitan statistical areas, Wichita's jobless rate of 3.6 percent was up from 3.1 percent in December and up from 3.5 percent a year earlier; Topeka's rate, at 4.5 percent, was up from 3.6 percent in December but well below the 5.5 percent rate of January 1998.
On the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro area, the January rate was 3.7 percent, up from 3.1 percent in December but down from the 4.4 percent rate a year earlier.
January unemployment rates for area counties: Atchison, 5.5; Douglas, 4.2; Franklin, 5.3; Jefferson, 4.6; Johnson, 2.4; Leavenworth, 5.2; Miami, 5.2; Shawnee, 4.5; Wyandotte, 7.2.