Douglas County's unemployment rate was nearly 50 percent higher in April 2009 than the same month of 2008, according to the latest statistics out this morning from the U.S. Department of Labor.
According to statistics for the Lawrence metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Douglas County, unemployment rose from 3.1 percent to 5.0 percent in April. Unemployment for March 2009 was 5.5 percent compared to 3.7 percent in March 2008.
And while the rise is dramatic, other metropolitan areas around the state saw similar increases. Manhattan moved from an unemployment rate of 2.6 percent to 3.8 percent, Topeka saw its unemployment rise from 3.9 percent to 5.9 percent and unemployment in Wichita rose from 3.3 percent to 7.1 percent. Unemployment in the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan statistical area, which includes a swath of northeast Kansas, went from 4.5 percent to 7.8 percent.
Nationally, the unemployment rate currently stands at a 25-year high of 8.9 percent.