Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Jobless rate follows seasonal trends but remains up

October 23, 2002


— Unemployment in Kansas remains higher than it was last year even as it tracks with normal, seasonal trends.

The jobless rate for September was 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent in August, the Department of Human Resources reported Tuesday. The agency saw the decline as normal.

But the unemployment rate for September 2001 was 4 percent. Also, the average rate for the first nine months of this year was 4.5 percent, compared to 4.3 percent for the same period last year, said Bill Layes, the department's chief of labor market information.

In January, unemployment jumped to 4.9 percent from 4.1 percent in December 2001, reflecting layoffs.

As the Wichita metropolitan area of Butler, Harvey and Sedgwick counties continued to struggle with aviation layoffs, its jobless rate edged up to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent in August.

The unemployment rate in the Lawrence area followed the state trend, dropping to 4 percent from 4.3 percent in August. It was 4.1 percent in September 2001.

Here are the unemployment rates for area counties for September:Douglas 4 percent.Franklin 4.4 percent.Jefferson 3.8 percent.Johnson 3.8 percent.Leavenworth 5.2 percent.Shawnee 4 percent.

Layes saw some good news in the numbers. The increase in unemployment this year compared to last year is relatively small, he said.

Also, the Kansas economy is larger with more people working and seeking jobs. Almost 1.38 million Kansans were working in September, compared to 1.31 million in September 2001; about 62,000 were unemployed last month, compared to 55,000 in September 2001.

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