Archive for Friday, August 19, 2011

Jobs picture in Kansas remains largely unchanged; new data raise concerns about pace of economic recovery

August 19, 2011


— The state unemployment situation continued to hover around the same level, raising concerns about a sluggish recovery on the job front.

The July jobless rate was 6.8 percent, up from 6.7 percent in June and down from 7.3 percent in July 2010, according to the Kansas Department of Labor. The seasonably adjusted rate was 6.5 percent for July, down from 6.6 percent in June and down from 7 percent in July 2010.

State officials said they detected slow growth, especially the pickup of 2,400 private sector jobs since June.

"Private sector jobs continued to grow last month -- albeit at a snail's pace," said Kansas Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee. She said there were some encouraging job gains in education and health services.

Tyler Tenbrink, a Labor Department economist, said, "Kansas experienced its second month of very slow growth in private non-farm jobs, increasing the risk of a stagnant recovery in the labor market."

Statewide, there were 19,706 initial claims for unemployment benefits in July, up from 18,884 initial claims in June and down from 23,907 in July 2010. There were 192,155 continued claims in July, down from 195,006 in June and down from 249,950 in July 2010.

In Douglas County, the unemployment rate for July was 6.4 percent, up from 6.3 percent in June and down from 7.3 percent in July 2010. The national rate for July was 9.1 percent.


Kat Christian 6 years, 4 months ago

And I wonder how many of those continued unemployed are 55 and older in the Douglas County area? I've gotten my foot in the door a few times with an interview but that's as far as it goes. I know its my age, I've paid attention to the clues and sutle comments made to me in the interview and the deniel of job offers. The mentality of hiring older and experiences individuals has to change for the future of society if at best. This is the beginning of a domino effect of disasterous proportions.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 4 months ago

I feel for you. People would rather hire the inexperienced younger guy over the older guy every time. They think the younger guy will last longer on the job, and that's totally false. Plus they can treat the kids worse then the older employees. .

Lauralnk 6 years, 4 months ago

These figures don't reflect the people who are still unemployed but are no longer eligible for benefits as they have run out. I wish there was a way to find out what those figures are.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

According to something I heard on the radio, actual unemployment, including those who have given up looking for a job, is about 22%.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 4 months ago

But you know a few percent of people live "off the grid" and get paid cash with no taxes, and I am not talking illegals.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 4 months ago

Where is the first job sam? Instead of running around doing things that are your personal ideas you should be trying to help the people find jobs.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

Like TX, which has a projected $27 billion deficit, and a lot of minimum wage jobs?

Not a model I'd like to emulate.

The Mars factory was planning to move to Topeka before Brownback was elected, as far as I know, so he doesn't get any credit for that.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

If that's true, I stand corrected.

When I have time and energy, I may look online for some confirmation.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 4 months ago

Why would anybody want to go back to work when you can draw 99+ weeks of unemployment, welfare, disability, or other forms of taxpayer money, and work for cash on the side?

pizzapete 6 years, 4 months ago

Unemployment only pays a portion of your lost wage. I think people would rather work and earn more money. Plus not having a job is very depressing.

kernal 6 years, 3 months ago

Since when can you get welfare if you're getting unemployment? Since when can you get unemployment compensation if you're on disability? I think most people would rather have a job as they money and benefits are better.

Jimo 6 years, 4 months ago


A decade of massive tax cuts at the federal level.

A Governor committed to a low tax, no regulation state.

And yet the jobs fail to appear - year after year after year.

Now, that really is faith-based government policy making!

Jimo 6 years, 4 months ago

Or as a Reagan and Bush adviser asks: It's axiomatic among Republicans that taxes on the rich are the single most important factor determining economic growth. If that were true, then the period from 1988 to 1990, when the top rate was just 28 percent, should have been the most prosperous in recent American history. During that time we had the lowest top rate since 1931. But although 1988 started out okay with a real GDP growth rate of 4.1 percent, it fell to 3.6 percent in 1989 and just 1.9 percent in 1990.

Conversely, the period from 1993 to 2000, when the top rate rose from 31 percent to 39.6 percent, should have been a period of dismal growth. But in fact, that period was the most prosperous in recent American history. Real GDP growth averaged 3.9 percent per year – more than 50 percent above the average postwar growth rate.

Then there should have been a burst of even faster growth when the top rate was reduced in the 2000s to 35 percent – a rate that is still in effect. But during that period, real GDP growth has averaged just 1.8 percent – 30 percent below the average postwar rate.

So where is the data supporting the argument that taxes on the rich are the sine qua non of growth?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

I've known people who have turned down entry level jobs. These jobs do not pay that much and they have low benefits. Instead, they are holding out for higher paying jobs that provide good benefits. Yet they remain unemployed because those types of jobs are hard to come by.
Having turned down employment, are these people to be considered unemployed by choice?

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

If they had accepted them, they'd probably be rightly called "underemployed", if they're overqualified for the position.

And, the more pressing question is why appropriate jobs aren't available for so many people, and what can/should be done about that.

Jimo 6 years, 4 months ago

Haha, yes, imagine an accountant turning down a job as a busboy at Buffalo Bobs Smokehouse. What socialistic indifference to hard work!!

Q: how are we all better off by wasting an accountant's skills on washing dishes? Q: how are we all better off by giving a dishwashing job to an accountant and leaving a dishwasher without any job at all? Q: when the accountant's house goes into foreclosure do you believe this will help or hurt his neighbor's property values? Q: when the accountant defaults on his student loans, who do you suppose has to come up with cash for the creditor? Q: when the accountant fails to pay income taxes on his working poverty job (50% of people pay no income tax!!!!!) instead of getting the accountant back to work at a normal job paying thousands annually in taxes who makes up for that lost tax revenue? Q: when the working accountant's family qualifies for food stamps who do you think pays for that? Q: if we have accountants busing tables why would we provide any financial assistance to students studying accounting? Q: follow up: when the accounting student drops out of school due to the lack of financial assistance and applies to wash dishes, which person--the student or the unemployed accountant--should Buffalo Bob's hire to bus tables? Q: who are these imaginary employers so willing to take on over-qualified employees who will quit in a New York minute when (if?) later offered the plummy job of ....being an accountant? Q: oh, when the Partiers cut entitlements and stop paying for the accountants' elderly parent's nursing home bills, how many hours of dishwashing must the accountant do at $7/hr. to pay for a $45k annual bill to the nursing home (assuming the accountant, now homeless, lives in a cardboard 'tent' down by the river and sponges off pilfered food from Buffalo Bobs' kitchen)?

Methinks you live in Underpants Gnome land where magic unicorns sprinkle tax cut fairy dust, where enacting job-killing spending cuts somehow boosts economic growth, and Ayn Rand's portrait appears on golden doubloons. Economics by Nutz - It's magically delicious.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 4 months ago

If he is an accountant, then he can start a private practice. If he is a lousy accountant...then he can go live under the bridge.

pizzapete 6 years, 4 months ago

I thought you were going to say if he's a lousy accountant he can work for the government or the IRS at least.

Jimo 6 years, 4 months ago

A. Private practice assumes that there is business that he can capture from existing accountants during a period of low economic activity. I wouldn't hold my breath.

B. Lousy accountant. Errr...only lousy accountants lose their jobs?!? Let me guess: in real life, you're an ass?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 4 months ago

No Jimo, I am a competent performer who gets out of bed and goes to what ever work I have so I can feed my family and not ask you to feed them for me.

It is pretty simple, people like you can sit around and whine about not having anything, but be damned if you will do anything about it.

Jimo 6 years, 3 months ago

Amazing how many millions of competent performers suddenly became lazy and decided to get themselves fired.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

So many questions about accountants. The fact is that if there are too many accountants, then a trained accountant needs to get another job. And if that job is as a busboy at Buffalo Bob's, so be it. Or they can do something else. What I'm saying is that just because a job doesn't exist, or just because a person cannot access a job, doesn't mean they are entitled to that job. They may need to go get another job, one that is available, one that they can access. We've all seen statistics about people who have given up looking, or as Jafs suggested, people who are underemployed. But I think we've all seen the other end of the spectrum as well. I have. I knew a person who got his Ph.D. in dead languages. Is he entitled to a job in that field? Is he underemployed because he took a job in the music industry? I knew a union carpenter who, when the housing industry tanked, refused employment as a non-union carpenter. Was he unemployed? Should he be included in the ranks of the unemployed? I knew a person who got a degree and a teaching certificate but when offered a job teaching at a grade level that they did not want to teach at, that person turned down that job and remained unemployed for years. If a person only wants to teach left handed fourth graders who have one blue eye and one green eye, and surprise, they can't get a job like that, are they unemployed? Have they given up? How do we classify that? I'm just saying that simply saying someone is unemployed, or underemployed, or that some people have left the ranks of those seeking employment doesn't tell the whole story.

Jimo 6 years, 4 months ago

I think you're fixated on the concept of "entitled to" rather than the concept of "waste." You clearly have some envy issues.

I, for one, paid good taxes to educate this good accountant and I now expect a return on that investment - a return I cannot possibly get if he's employed washing dishes.

Multiply that dilemma by 16 million people and it should be dumbfoundingly obvious that this is not a preferred let alone sustainable situation.

Oh....and you never told me what the dishwasher who lost out on the dishwashing gig is supposed to do - he and the other 5 people applying for the 1 job available.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 4 months ago

And the Universities don't "Churn" out graduates?


jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure I understand the dilemma you have. Are you saying you paid for someone to get an education and now you expect to be re-paid? If that's the case, I don't know what gave you the idea you're entitled to re-payment and that the person doing the re-paying must earn that money in a certain field. If they had gone to typewriter repair school, must they get a job doing that and only that? Did the school mislead you into believing a job was a certainty?
And I bet there are plenty of dishwashing jobs available. And jobs picking vegetables in the fields. People are flocking from the four corners of the world to take those jobs. Unless of course by waste you mean that this accountant is too good to take that kind of a job. Then I can't help you.

Jimo 6 years, 3 months ago

"I bet there are plenty of dishwashing jobs available"

Really? 16 million of them? How's the weather on whatever planet you're on? It's been fairly hot here.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Funny, I worked at McDonald's on 23rd. while attending K.U. I studied what I wanted up on the hill, and did fine. In the end, I owned a restaurant, then another and another.
Maybe getting a degree in accounting is one person's path to a rewarding career. Maybe flipping burgers at Mickey D.'s is not just another path, but a path that is equally legitimate.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

If there are in fact "too many accountants", you'd be right.

Of course, how to evaluate that is problematic.

Right now, companies are laying people off in order to maintain high profits - does that mean there were "too many" people employed before?

Or are there "not enough" people employed now?

It's not so much a matter of "entitlement", in my view, it's a matter of matching skills/education to jobs, and having a good fit.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

It's easy as heck to find out if there are too many accountants. Try to get hired as one. If you get hired, then there are not too many. If you can't find a job as an accountant, then there are too many. Of course, you could strike out on your own, and open an accounting business. If you make money, then we don't have too many. If you can't make a living at it, then there are too many. But just because you got a degree in accounting doesn't have anything in the world to do with whether or not there are too many accountants. The degree, like my example above of the person who got the Ph.D. in dead languages, means nothing to the marketplace.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

So, the analysis is simply an analysis of whether companies are hiring or not.

That would mean that all of those people employed before massive layoffs shouldn't have been employed.

I'm a bit uncomfortable with that idea.

When companies maintain massively high profits by laying off massive numbers of people, and then sit on large piles of cash reserves rather than hiring them, I don't think it means anything at all about whether we have "too many" accountants.

It may mean something rather distasteful about the way the companies are acting.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

I don't know where you got the idea that companies need to hire or not hire. Where is your entrepreneurial spirit? Instead of getting hired at a restaurant, open your own restaurant. Open your own accounting firm. Open a bar. Open a clothing store. Why spend a lifetime being dependent on the whims of others. Instead of getting a job, make a job for yourself. Of course, some people do not have that drive. They depend on others to create a job for them. They depend on others to take the risk of failure. They depend on others to make the investment to start a company. But by taking those risks, they have earned the right to lay off people and reap the rewards.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Nice change of topic.

Not everybody can be an entrepreneur, for a variety of reasons.

"Try to get hired as one...if you can't find a job as an accountant, then there are too many"

That's the comment I was responding to.

Jimo 6 years, 3 months ago

"Instead of getting a job, make a job for yourself. Of course, some people do not have that drive. They depend on others to create a job for them. They depend on others to take the risk of failure. They depend on others to make the investment to start a company. But by taking those risks, they have earned the right to lay off people and reap the rewards."

Of course Mitt Romney did this. Borrowed tons of money to buy companies using the assets of those companies as collateral. Promptly started laying off the employees while pocketing obscene 'management fees' for himself. Then, sold off the "profitable" companies to investors, who promptly filed for bankruptcy and dismissed the remaining workers because the "profitable" companies had been looted of all their value. Romney turned that trick again and again.

But hey "by taking those risks" he "earned the right to lay off people and reap the rewards."

And one wonders why the American economy is collapsing to third-world status!

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Mitt Romney is one person. And I'm not all too familiar with his history in business. I started a business, worked 80 hours a week, took two days off per year for ten years and did o.k. And it was not at all in the field I studied at K.U. After I sold that business, I started two more. One failed miserably and one succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Hey, that the way it goes. You take a chance and reap the rewards, good or bad. Half the money I made in my success was lost in the failure. I worked hard. I employed hundreds over the years, not one of which ever came close to working as hard as I did. They got holidays off, I worked. They went for long walks on the beach on those beautiful sunny days, I worked. I delayed having a family while they went on vacations to exotic places. I worked when they were sick and I worked when I was sick. I make no apology for sending my child to the best private school available. And I make no apology for enjoying my well earned retirement.
Maybe things are as you describe in big business. My businesses were small hands on run businesses. Tell the accountant to hang out a shingle, work 80 hours a week and live the life he chooses for himself. Don't depend on some "company" to do it for you. Make your own future.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes, the sort of thing you describe is much more common in small businesses, where people are actually taking a risk, than with large corporations, where their individual liability is limited, and they're protected in numerous ways, including bankruptcy laws.

But, it's also very likely that small business owners like yourself don't lay off massive numbers of people in order to maximize their profits.

Did you do that?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe he doesn't want to work 80 hours a week and be self employed, with all of the extra tax burdens that involves.

There's not a right or wrong answer to the question of whether somebody should work for themselves or for somebody else.

It depends on the individuals involved, and their preferences.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

The thing is people have choices. Once you decide that you don't want to take the risk, once you decide you don't want to work 80 hours a week, once you decide to put your faith in the hands of others who do take the risks, then you become vulnerable to the decisions they make. They may cash out and take a big profit. They may fire you because you wore the wrong colored socks. But you need to understand when you go in that those are the rules of the game. You're guaranteed nothing. If you want to be the decision maker, then take the risk.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, that would only be true if we didn't have various federal laws regarding how employees are treated.

We seem to have decided collectively that workers deserve some amount of protection from abuse/mistreatment in the workplace.

And from being discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, etc.

Also, those corporations really aren't taking much, if any, risk, given the way the playing field favors them, and protects the individuals involved.

Did you lay off massive numbers of employees to keep your profits maximized?

Jimo 6 years, 3 months ago

Jafs - you don't get it. Millions and millions of hardworking people a few years back suddenly decided to be lazy and get themselves fired. No serious person believes that hardworking, competent individuals can ever lose their job, or find themselves unable to land a new one in competition will millions of others.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

They should look at their employment contract. You know, the one that says that once hired, you're guaranteed that job forever. The economy may tank, but you're guaranteed that job forever. The person who signs the paycheck, he gets no say once you're hired. He can work long hours, work holidays, invest years, but you're guaranteed a cushy job in that employment contract you signed when hired, right? Look, businesses hire and fire people all the time. Employees are free to leave whenever they want. That's the way it is. If you think you're entitled to keep your job no matter what, I guess you might guarantee the company a profit all the time. Let's ask the Soviets how that worked out.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Your posts are becoming less and less responsive.

It makes having a conversation with you more difficult.

Businesses do hire and fire people all of the time - but they're prohibited from firing people (or not hiring them) on the basis of race, gender, etc.

In some states, businesses actually have to show cause for firing somebody, which is a very good thing, in my view.

Unfortunately, that's not the case in KS, so somebody can be doing a very good job, and get fired for no reason at all.

Is that a good thing to you?

There's a basic difference between being fired and being laid off - being laid off means that the position has been eliminated, while firing means they can just hire somebody else. So, if the economy tanks, people are more likely to be laid off than fired.

My understanding is that being laid off qualifies one for unemployment benefits, while being fired doesn't, which makes sense if somebody is fired for a good reason, but not otherwise.

And, the fact that those at the bottom and towards the middle are vulnerable, while those at the top have guaranteed benefits/severance packages even if fired is a problem, in my view.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe it's a matter of tone, but the sense I'm feeling is that people are giving all their power to the company or as we used to say the "the man" and then complaining that all the power is with the company. Giving your power to the man gives you some benefits but has some drawbacks. Striking out on your own has different benefits and different drawbacks. But this is not like a menu at a Chinese restaurant where you get to pick the benefits from column A and the benefits from column B. If you choose to work for someone else, accept the benefits and accept the drawbacks. If they don't suit you, then strike out on your own and accept those benefits and drawbacks. But I find it annoying when people willingly give up their power to choose and then complain that they don't have the power to choose.

kernal 6 years, 3 months ago

Hate to blow your posting out of the water, but I still can't believethe number of times was turned down for a job because I was "overqualified".

One_Name 6 years, 4 months ago

My man you have your work cut out for you here! Casting pearls before swine.....

If an accountant has to feed his family and is now a dishwasher, then he is a former accountant who is now a dishwasher.

What is it these people don't get?

I'm a former aspiring mogul who is now a hay baler. My retirement plan was sealed with blood.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 4 months ago

There is a real problem when we pay people not to work just because they see the jobs that are available to be under their skill level. Guess what, a one armed man can't hold a broom with both hands either. Life deals you a hand, you have to play it. If you can't play, then you can go flip hamburgers. Don't expect someone else to pay your bills because you are to proud to work. Be to proud to be a "Moocher"!

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

the buck stops at Brownback, stops, goes into his pocket or shared with Koch. nojob Brownback

Brian Conrad 6 years, 4 months ago

numbers are so fake... strictly those drawing unemployement... closer to 20% if you count all those really not working and probably 40% under employed. put an add in paper for a decent paying job , 30 to 40 k.... you will get 1,000+ resumes in one hour. Friend 30 years as lawyer posted job for 10 bucks an hour reception job.. had over 300 calls first day.. some had Law Degree and just wanted foot in door. things way worse than the politicians will ever admit...

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 3 months ago

If kansas has a right wing mandate and we are turning down deficit increasing federal funds, led by christian principles; why isn't our state economy exploding right now?

Where is the leadership in topeka?

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 3 months ago

I think we know they are pretty busy right now. Wherever somebody is handing out government money, contracts and influence, they are getting real busy.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 3 months ago

Grumbling about mercury? MERCURY? OK, just who is going to pay for the kids cancer bills when this cr*p gets into our ground water? St. Jude's?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh my God!

You mean the Environmental Protection Agency is actually attempting to - wait for it - protect the environment??

The horror.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Environmental Protection Agency.

An agency that exists in order to protect the environment.

It's pretty straightforward.

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