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Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Jobless rate dips

October 24, 2001

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Job cuts announced since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have yet to hit Kansas, state officials said Tuesday.

The state's unemployment rate dipped to 3.6 percent in September, down from 3.7 percent both in August and September 2000, officials at the Kansas Department of Human Resources said.

But don't expect the drop to last long, they said.

"It normally takes awhile for a state to feel the impact of a national event," said Richard Beyer, who heads the department as the state's secretary of human resources. "Although Kansas will not escape the effects as many layoffs have occurred and will occur in the future we are confident that the Kansas economy will remain sound."

In the Lawrence area, defined as Douglas County, unemployment dropped to 3.9 percent in September, down from 4 percent in both August and September 2000, the department said. The number of employed county residents hit 52,129, up from 51,405 in August.

Powered largely by a return of non-teaching professionals to Kansas University, the Lawrence area was the state's only metro area to report an increase in employment during the month. Increases also were reported in services and wholesale and retail trade.

Elsewhere, unemployment was 3.6 percent in Topeka, unchanged from August and down from 4.1 percent a year ago. The rate was 3.9 percent in Kansas City, Kan., down from 4 percent in August and up from 3.4 percent a year ago.

Statewide numbers did not include the nearly 5,000 job cuts that have been announced by the aircraft industry in Wichita. Neither were the 3,000 kansas City-area cuts announced earlier this month by Sprint Corp.

The state projects that with seasonal fluctuations and a gradual layoff of aircraft workers the state unemployment rate should approach 4.25 percent next year, still below the current national rate of 4.9 percent, said Bill Layes, chief of labor market information.




The Associated Press contributed information to this report.

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