The unemployment rate in Lawrence ticked up between April and May, from 5.2 percent to 5.6 percent, according to data from the Kansas Department of Labor.
However, the current 5.6 percent is better than the 5.8 percent rate in May 2011. The recent increase in the unemployment rate reflects an increase of about 150 Lawrence residents out of work.
The state unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8 percent. The state’s seasonally adjusted rate of 6.1 percent was also unchanged from April, but down from 6.7 percent a year ago. The department does not calculate a seasonally adjusted rate for Lawrence.
“The good news in this labor report is that we are markedly improved relative to last year,” said Karin Brownlee, Kansas Secretary of Labor. “Looking from month to month, we seem to be singing the ‘second verse, same as the first’ as the changes are very minor.”
The department’s monthly labor report highlighted the growth of 10,800 private sector jobs since May 2011, 5,200 of which were added in the last month alone.
In the past few years, the Lawrence unemployment rate was at its lowest, 3.2 percent, in April 2008.