Archive for Saturday, November 22, 2003

Kansas’ jobless rate increases

Labor analyst cites seasonal factors for drop

November 22, 2003


— The state's unemployment rate rose to 4.7 percent in October because the economy saw traditional late-fall losses of outdoor construction and recreation jobs, the Department of Human Resources reported Friday.

Here are the unemployment rates for area counties. The first number is the percentage rate for October. The second number is how much it changed from the September rate.¢ Douglas: 4.0, unchanged.¢ Franklin: 3.9, up 0.1 percent.¢ Jefferson: 3.7, down 0.1 percent.¢ Johnson: 4.2, up 0.2 percent.¢ Leavenworth: 5.9, up 0.5 percent.¢ Osage: 5.6, up 0.3 percent.¢ Shawnee: 4.9, up 0.2 percent.

The revised jobless rate for September was 4.5 percent.

The department's figures on employment for October continued to mirror a yearlong trend, with unemployment affected mostly by seasonal factors and hovering below rates last year. The rate for October 2002 was 5.2 percent.

"It's seasonal," said Bill Layes, the department's chief of labor market information. "There's nothing there that's economic."

The state saw the number of Kansans who had jobs rise by about 9,500 in October, to 1,409,452. Manufacturing, trade, transportation, utility and health companies all added jobs, and a big jump came in government employment.

But offsetting those gains were decreases in employment for construction, leisure, hospitality and professional and business services companies. The number of Kansans actively seeking work grew during the month by about 2,800, to 69,081.

In two of the state's four major metropolitan areas, the unemployment rate bucked the state trend and remained the same in October, 6.1 percent for the Wichita area and 4 percent for the Lawrence area. The Lawrence rate in October 2002 was 4.6 percent.

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