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Archive for Wednesday, March 10, 2010

State unemployment rate climbs upward in January

March 10, 2010

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— The Kansas unemployment rate jumped to 7.1 percent in January, up from 6.2 percent in December, officials reported Wednesday.

Gov. Mark Parkinson called the jobless figures “discouraging,” and said they show that state officials need to increase state revenue to shore up the budget for fiscal year 2011, which starts July 1.

“As the Legislature continues its work on the budget for 2011, we must do all we can to prevent the additional layoffs of school teachers, civil servants and parole officers. Stabilizing the state budget is an important part of getting our economy back on track,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson, a Democrat, has proposed a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax, and a 55-cent per pack increase on the cigarette tax to help bridge a nearly $500 million revenue shortfall. Senate Republican leaders have called for a $300 million tax package, but House Republican leaders oppose a tax increase.

“We need the Legislature to put politics aside and find the revenue we need to protect our schools, maintain our public safety and preserve critical services for our most vulnerable citizens,” Parkinson said.

State labor officials said the increased unemployment rate was expected. The December to January increase can be attributed to seasonal factors, the Kansas Department of Labor reported.

“Although we continue to see job losses in Kansas, the drop in initial unemployment claim numbers from December to January indicates the rate at which people are losing jobs is slowing,” said Tyler Tenbrink, an analyst with the Labor Department.

“Further review of the unemployment data for the past five months suggests a stabilizing trend in the Kansas job market. We’re seeing the rate of job loss moderating, but we have not seen job creation. We’ll be watching this activity closely over the next couple of months to see if this trend continues,” Tenbrink said.

The unemployment rate in Douglas County was 5.8 percent in January up from 4.7 percent in December.

The 7.1 percent statewide rate is the highest it has been in Kansas since August when it was 7.2 percent. The national jobless rate is 9.7 percent.

The new Labor Department report showed:

• There were 313,032 continued claims for unemployment benefits in January, down from 315,653 claims in December.

• There were 33,075 initial claims for unemployment benefits in January, down from 36,216 initial claims in December.

• Most major industries reported statewide over-the-year losses. These losses were highest in the following areas: manufacturing, professional and business services, and trade, transportation and utilities.

• The job losses from December 2009 to January 2010 are below the 10-year average of job losses in this time period.

• Kansas businesses lost 54,100 jobs over-the-year, a 4.0 percent decrease.

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 9 months ago

So we need to raise taxes in order to keep government jobs safe? Wrong.

We need lower taxes and fewer government employees.

SnakeFist 4 years, 9 months ago

Kansas is a conservative state and yet has worse problems than many more liberal states. When will Kansans wake-up and realize that self-centered, greed-based, uncaring conservatism doesn't work?

Flap Doodle 4 years, 9 months ago

How's that hopenchange working out for you?

SnakeFist 4 years, 9 months ago

Schools are closing, highways won't be fixed, and seniors are going hungry, so we should cut taxes because that will magically make tax revenue increase - typical conservative mathematics. I realize conservatives are anti-intellectual, but at least invest in a calculator.

LogicMan 4 years, 9 months ago

"Kansas is a conservative state and yet has worse problems than many more liberal states."

Wow. Have you not been following the news and unemployment/foreclosure data? The liberal states (MI, CA, MA, etc.) are in much worse shape than us, and the ultra-conservative (more so than KS; TX, WY, ND) are doing much better.

parrothead8 4 years, 9 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle (anonymous) says… How's that hopenchange working out for you?

Nice gut-level reaction without a smidgen of thought put into it, especially in light of the article saying that "State labor officials said the increased unemployment rate was expected. The December to January increase can be attributed to seasonal factors, the Kansas Department of Labor reported."

It's odd that both the Democratic governor and the Republican Senate want to raise taxes, but that the Republican House does not want to. I agree with the above poster that we need to trim government jobs/spending, but at some point folks need to realize the obvious: most of the money to provide the services we all take for granted comes from us. When the alternative sources of funding dry up, we either pony up more or accept a decline in services.

james bush 4 years, 9 months ago

Obama is stimulating job growth......in government, not the private sector.....so we can all rest assured and confident that this socialistic, Chicago-style governess is a blessing....NOT!

avoice 4 years, 9 months ago

"Most major industries reported statewide over-the-year losses. These losses were highest in the following areas: manufacturing, professional and business services, and trade, transportation and utilities. "

So why does the governor think the problem is "layoffs of school teachers, civil servants and parole officers"????

Yes, let's raise all the taxes so people will buy less and more retailers will lay people off, and more businesses will cut back their payrolls, and more businesses will just shut their doors. We'll give all those laid-off workers jobs as school teachers, civil servants and parole officers and that will bring back our economy.

SnakeFist 4 years, 9 months ago

LogicMan: Check out gallup.com. The five states with the lowest economic confidence index - Idaho, Nevada, West Virginia, Michigan, and Wyoming - are all far more conservative than liberal. Michigan, for example, has 17% more conservatives than liberals. Furthermore, the three most conservative states - Alabama, Louisianna, and Mississippi - are in the bottom 10 in overall well-being. Face the fact: conservatism doesn't work. Oh, I forgot, facts are for intellectual elitists, not conservatives.

Moderateguy 4 years, 9 months ago

What revolutionary logic! We should just increase taxes 25% across the board, and we could eliminate unemployment completely!

Those of you in favor of high taxes and unlimited social programs should really move to Northern California. It should be utopia for you.

What's that? You can't afford to live there? Hmmm.

Healthcare Moocher... Couldn't agree more..

M. Lindeman 4 years, 9 months ago

SnakeFist (anonymous) says… LogicMan: Check out gallup.com. The five states with the lowest economic confidence index - Idaho, Nevada, West Virginia, Michigan, and Wyoming - are all far more conservative than liberal. Michigan, for example, has 17% more conservatives than liberals. Furthermore, the three most conservative states - Alabama, Louisianna, and Mississippi - are in the bottom 10 in overall well-being. Face the fact: conservatism doesn't work. Oh, I forgot, facts are for intellectual elitists, not conservatives.

rdragon writes: Gallup?? your quoting a polling outfit for you economic numbers? How about you look in the mirror first when you start the finger pointing. I plenty of blame on all sides, and your hateful spewing does no good except to show your own lack of brain cells.

Aiko 4 years, 9 months ago

No, they bailed out the automakers so they would become government property...

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 9 months ago

SnakeFist,

And economic confidence measures people's feelings, it doesn't measure economic reality.

The reality is that states with the largest government bureaucracies tend to fare far worse in recessions. That's why Michigan, California and New York are hurting so much. People in Wyoming may feel like the economy is terrible, but they are actually benefiting from below average unemployment and less government involvement in their lives.

SnakeFist 4 years, 9 months ago

Moderateguy: Gosh, your logic is so much better: cut taxes to zero and people will have so much more money to buy things. Nevermind the fact that they won't actually be able to drive to stores because the roads and bridges won't be repaired.

rdragon and SettingTheRecordStraight: The Economic Confidence Index reflects people's actual experience, so, yes, its an indicator of the economy. At least I cited a source, you didn't bother to cite any for your false assertions. Keep avoiding those pesky facts, and thanks for proving my point.

tomatogrower 4 years, 9 months ago

Kansas has cut taxes for business almost every year for the last 10 years. And this was suppose to magically increase business and jobs. Wonder where they are? How long can we keep beating this poor dead horse? Trickle down doesn't work.

TopJayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

Snakefirst. forget about logic. Look at history. Your intelligence factor is causing you to have noncommon sense.
But yes. Let's all cop-out and blame Bush. It couldn't possibly be the Obamanator's fault. He is smart. He is the saviour. He will lead us to the promised land. As long as it is financed through taxing the evil rich.

TopJayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

tomato.
Our business taxes are still way higher than most other states. We still need to make Kansas more attractive to business. Taxes need to be lower than out neighbors to do that. They are not.

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