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Archive for Saturday, March 4, 2006

Revised report: Job growth hit snags

March 4, 2006

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While the state's latest employment figures contained some good news Friday, the Department of Labor acknowledged newly revised numbers show the economic picture hasn't been quite as rosy as previously thought.

A report from the department said the state no longer could claim nearly two years' worth of continual job growth. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and her aides repeatedly have pointed to such employment growth as a sign of a rebounding economy.

But the report did show that the number of Kansans in nonfarm jobs grew about 1.3 percent, or 17,300, in January compared with January 2005. The unemployment rate was 5 percent, compared with 5.8 percent a year before.

"Improvement in nonfarm jobs, combined with the declining unemployment rate, indicate a healthy labor market for Kansas workers and businesses," said Labor Secretary Jim Garner.

Before issuing its latest employment report, Garner's department revised employment data for 2004 and 2005.

Before the revisions, the department's data suggested that through December, the state had seen 22 consecutive months in which employment was higher than for the same month during the previous year.

The department's revised numbers showed the number of Kansans holding nonfarm jobs actually declined in September 2005, compared with September 2004, though only by 300 out of nearly 1.34 million.

Also, the department said, about 1,800 fewer Kansans held nonfarm jobs in December than in December 2004, a decline of about 0.1 percent.

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