Topeka The state jobless rate in December increased and initial claims for unemployment benefits more than doubled, the Kansas Department of Labor reported Tuesday.
And officials said the situation is expected to worsen.
“This month we see job losses in many areas of the state,” said Inayat Noormohmad, a labor economist with the Kansas Department of Labor.
“The sharp slowdown in the housing and financial sectors has caused a ‘ripple effect’ of job losses, affecting industries across the board. We expect to see additional losses in the months to come as this ‘ripple effect’ spreads,” Noormohmad said.
The Kansas unemployment rate increased to 4.9 percent in December, up from 4.8 percent from the previous month and 4 percent in December 2007.
In addition, initial claims for unemployment benefits in December were 37,482, more than double the 18,212 initial claims in December 2007.
The Douglas County unemployment rate stood at 4 percent, down from November’s rate of 4.1 percent.
Douglas County continues to perform better than the rest of the state job-wise. In October, the county’s unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, while the state’s rate was 4.5 percent, and in September, Douglas County had a jobless rate of 4.2 percent, while the state’s was 4.8 percent.
Meanwhile for December, Topeka was at 5.3 percent, and the Kansas City area, which includes Franklin, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, and Wyandotte counties, was at 5.6 percent.