Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Unemployment holds line in May

Construction, retail sectors add jobs

June 20, 2001


— The state saw relatively little change in its employment picture in May, even with normal seasonal trends and layoffs at an aircraft plant in southeast Kansas.

The unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, unchanged from April's figure, the Department of Human Resources reported Tuesday. The rate was 3.7 percent in May 2000.

The department said that about 1,800 more people were working in May than in April, and that the state's work force is nearly 1.4 million. The number of unemployed Kansans increased by 152, to a little more than 50,000.

Construction firms added about 1,700 jobs during the month, the department said, while retail stores added another 1,300 workers.

Both trends are normal for May, officials said, as the weather improves and permits more construction jobs and the end of high school and college classes nears.

Near the end of the month, Cessna Aircraft announced it was laying off about 250 workers at its plant near Independence, or about 27 percent of its work force there.

But the department's figures indicated there was a lag between the announcement of the layoffs and when some of the employees were counted as being unemployed.

The department recorded a drop only half that size in the number of aircraft manufacturing jobs in May, and Montgomery County's unemployment rate increased only to 4.7 percent in May from 4.5 percent in April.

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