Topeka — Kansas experienced job growth in June, but it also saw its unemployment rate rise to 4.9 percent as college and high school students went hunting for summer work, the state Department of Labor reported Friday.
The department saw positive signs in the numbers it released, noting that nonfarm employment grew, both over the month and compared with June 2003. The jobless rate was 4.4 percent in May, but the department said a spike in June was normal and noted that the June 2003 rate was 5.9 percent.
The state added about 5,700 nonfarm jobs in June, with about 2,300 in manufacturing companies.
"Job growth is an important economic indicator," Labor Secretary Jim Garner said in a statement. "This continued job growth is very encouraging."
The department said the state's total civilian labor force grew by more than 34,000 in June from May, to more than 1.49 million. More than 25,000 of them found some work, bringing the number of employed Kansans to 1,417,895.
However, the number of people actively seeking work also grew by about 8,900, to 73,124 in June.
"We've seen a lot of students enter the labor force in June," department spokeswoman Beth Martino said.
Unemployment rose in June in the state's four largest metropolitan areas: to 5.4 percent from 5 percent in May in the state's portion of the Kansas City metro area, to 6 percent from 5.4 percent in the Wichita area, to 5.5 percent from 5.1 percent in the Topeka area and to 5 percent from 4.1 percent in the Lawrence area.
|Here's a look at area unemployment percentages for June and how they compare to levels in May:¢ Douglas -- 5.0, up from 4.1.¢ Franklin --5.2, up from 4.4.¢ Jefferson --3.7, up from 3.5.¢ Johnson -- 4.2, up from 3.9.¢ Leavenworth -- 6.7, up from 6.6.¢ Osage -- 5.9, up from 6.0.¢ Shawnee --5.5, up from 5.1.|