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Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2001

State unemployment rises in October

Lawrence jobless rate up to 4.2 percent

November 21, 2001

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— Lost jobs in service, manufacturing and construction contributed to a higher Kansas unemployment rate in October, officials said Tuesday.

The jobless rate was 3.9 percent for October, up .3 percent from September and higher than the 3.7 percent figure from a year earlier. Nationally, October's jobless rate was 5.4 percent.

Richard Beyer, secretary of the Department of Human Resources, said the rate reflects the initial impact on the state economy of the Sept. 11 attacks. Kansas recorded a small increase in first-time unemployment claims from the service and travel industries, which could be linked to the attacks.

"Most of the larger firms that announced reductions in staffing because of the attacks have not yet fully implemented those layoff plans," Beyer said.

For the month, unemployment stood at 56,914, an increase of 5,038 workers. Employment also rose by 7,745 to 1,384,503.

Service and manufacturing industries each shed 800 jobs in October, while another 300 were lost in construction as seasonal projects were completed.

Bill Layes, the state's chief of labor market information services, said Kansas has weathered the current economic slowdown in good shape.

Statewide, initial jobless claims were up 4,383 to 13,499, with 22,912 receiving average payments of $264.35.

The Kansas portion of the Kansas City metropolitan area saw the biggest jump in unemployment, rising .5 percent to 4.4 percent in October. Employment was down 727 jobs to 392,385, with 18,031 people looking for work. It was the only metropolitan area to lose employment.

Lawrence's unemployment rose to 4.2 percent from 3.8 percent in September, compared to 4 percent a year earlier. Employment rose 2,079 to 54,230, with returning Kansas University workers accounting for most of the gain. The number of unemployed rose by 326 to 2,402.

The jobless rate in Topeka increased to 4 percent, up from 3.7 a month earlier. Government and retail trade jobs increased, while manufacturing lost about 100 jobs. The number of unemployed increased 300 to 3,649. Employment remained steady at 88,404.

Wichita's unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent, up .4 percent from September as 1,239 more people were looking for work. Manufacturing shed 500 jobs in October, while retail trade added 700. Still, employment was up 1,456 to 278,500 for the month.

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