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Archive for Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Kansas jobless rate up slightly in October

November 22, 2006

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— The Kansas unemployment rate rose in October to 4.2 percent, up by 0.1 percentage point from September but still better than the 4.9 percent recorded in October 2005.

State officials released the latest barometer of economic health Tuesday. The report shows that Kansas businesses added 6,100 jobs between September and October, with the majority concentrated in K-12 schools and at state universities and colleges.

During the last 12 months the state has added 9,400 jobs, with service-sector industries adding 5,500 jobs for the bulk of the gain. The nonfarm payroll in October stood at 1,352,300 Kansans, up from 1,346,200 in September and 1,342,900 in October 2005.

"The low unemployment rate and continued job growth are signs of a healthy Kansas labor market," said Secretary of Labor Jim Garner.

The continued job growth was a factor earlier in November when state official raised their estimate for how much revenue Kansas would collect during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007. A group of economists and policy analysts raised their forecast made in April by $299 million to $5.6 billion.

Still, Garner said more work remains to ensure growth in the economy is broad-based.

"Government, private industry and other key groups must work together to focus on the continued demand for trained workers in a variety of industries, including aerospace manufacturing and health care," Garner said.

Unemployment rates for the state's four metropolitan areas ranged from 3.5 percent in Lawrence to 4.8 percent in Topeka. Wichita's rate was unchanged at 4.4 percent but better than the 5.7 percent recorded in October 2005.

The Kansas portion of the Kansas City metro area posted the largest increase, rising to 4.7 percent in October, up from 4.4 percent in September. The area includes Franklin, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami and Wyandotte counties.

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