Archive for Wednesday, August 21, 2002

State, Lawrence unemployment dips in July

August 21, 2002


— Unemployment dropped in July to 4.5 percent as students looking for jobs found employment or dropped out of the labor force.

The jobless figure reported Tuesday was a drop from the 4.6 percent in June and compares to 4.2 percent in July 2001. Nationally, unemployment stood at 5.9 percent in July.

Bill Layes, chief of labor market information for the Department of Human Resources, said July's rate was not unexpected.

"For 24 of the last 25 years we've recorded a slight reduction," Layes said.

A closer look at the numbers showed more Kansans were on the job than any time since July 1999. Officials said 4,800 people joined the work force, pushing total employment to 1.4 million. Unemployment dropped by 700 to 66,900.

Unemployment fell in Lawrence, from 5.2 percent in June to 4.7 percent in July. However, for the second consecutive month, Lawrence was the only metro area to see a drop in employment, falling by another 1,400 jobs to 53,900, due to the release of non-teaching positions at Kansas University.

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