TOPEKA — The Kansas unemployment rate for July increased, officials have reported.
The seasonally adjusted rate for July was 6.3 percent, which is up from 6.1 percent in June, and down from 6.7 percent one year ago.
The nonadjusted unemployment rate for July was 6.7 percent, up from 6.2 percent in June and down from 7 percent in July 2011. The unemployment rate for Douglas County was 6.6 percent, and the national jobless rate was 8.3 percent for July.
Despite the increased jobless rate, Kansas Department of Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee said private-sector jobs were growing.
“Private-sector job growth is the encouraging note in this report,” Brownlee said.
Kansas gained 22,100 private-sector jobs, a 2 percent increase since July 2011.
Tyler Tenbrink, a state labor economist, said that in July the size of the labor force contracted by more than 6,100 people.
“Nearly all of these people came from the ranks of the employed to no longer being part of the labor force,” Tenbrink said. “This is a trend that surfaced early in 2012 and has persisted. The major age group contributing to this trend is the group of workers age 55 and over.”
Many of those workers leaving the labor force gave the answer that “they do not want a job now” when surveyed, he said. This decline in the civilian labor force affected the unemployment rate, he said.