Archive for Thursday, October 18, 2012

Statehouse Live: State unemployment rate drops to nearly four-year low

October 18, 2012


— The state unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in nearly four years, the Kansas Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.9 percent for September, a decrease from 6.2 percent in August and 6.7 percent in September 2011. It is the first time the rate has fallen under 6 percent since December 2008.

"The number of people who returned to work in September is very encouraging and the decreasing unemployment rate is a very positive sign for Kansans," said Interim Labor Secretary Lana Gordon.

Tyler Tenbrink, a Labor Department economist, said the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in 45 months. "This improvement was caused by approximately 5,000 people moving from unemployed to employed over the month," Tenbrink said.


jafs 1 year, 6 months ago

Check DT's post above.

It contains useful and unbiased numbers about unemployment in KS.

If correct, the drop in unemployment stats is caused entirely be a drop in the labor force, and actually there are fewer people employed this year than last.


smitty 1 year, 6 months ago

public records links.....

press release complete with a link to the report

2012 Kansas Economic Report Sees Growth

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Labor today released the 2012 Kansas Economic Report which shows that the Kansas economy demonstrated several positive signs of recovery in 2011.

Non-farm jobs experienced growth for the first time since 2008, gaining 11,800 private sector jobs in 2011. The number of people employed increased by 0.5 percent and the unemployment rate decreased from 7.2 percent to 6.7 percent in 2011.

“This report shows that the Kansas economy is continuing to improve. The increase in private sector jobs is promising,” Lana Gordon, Interim Secretary of Labor, said. In 2011, state exports increased by a healthy 17.1 percent. Exports in agricultural products showed the largest growth, particularly because of wheat exports. The gross domestic product (GDP) increased for the second consecutive year in 2011. Personal income also increased during the year as more Kansans returned to work.

The housing market in the state stabilized, with median home prices exceeding pre-recession levels. More housing units were occupied in Kansas by percentage than the rest of the country. The number of building permits issued increased for the first time since 2006. “2011 marked the turning point for the Kansas labor market as the beginning of recovery in terms of job growth and unemployment. Overall economic conditions continued to trend in the right direction, although gradually,” Inayat Noormohmad, Senior Labor Economist, said. The 2012 Job Vacancy Survey showed a 17.3 percent increase in job openings from 2011, totaling 36,000 job vacancies statewide in the second quarter of 2012. Online job vacancies published by Help Wanted Online increased in 2011 and reached an all-time high in June 2012.

The Kansas labor force remained stagnant in 2011, only growing by approximately 200 people. This may be caused by a high number of discouraged workers, individuals choosing to postpone employment to return to school and slow growth in the population. Inflation continued to rise and the real average weekly wage, which accounts for inflation, declined.

The 2012 Kansas Economic Report is available online.


1 year, 6 months ago

alcoholbliss: "I hear the arguments being made that the low paying jobs will never come back to the US, right? I guess having people unemployed here, and the top 1% getting richer off of China slavery is far better? "

I hear lots of people drive around town looking for the highest gas price, too. Paying $20 for gas when you could pay $4 makes as much sense as paying $8 for an American when you could pay $1.5 elsewhere. The problem is not that Americans are expensive; plenty of Americans get paid very well. It's that low-skill Americans are expensive compared to low-skill not-Americans. That sucks if you're a low-skill American just as much as it sucks if you're a Lawrence gas station trying to sell $20 gasoline in a $4 market.

But again it comes back to technology. The reduction in transaction costs - whether physical transactions like shipping iPads or virtual ones like tech support - is a long-lived and accelerating technological trend. Neither party will do anything about it and neither party can do anything about it. If one cannot pay some Chinese kid $1.50 an hour to sew Nikes, an $8 American is not the only option: a Mexican can be paid $2 to do it, a Bengli could be paid $3, or a machine can also be invented to do it.

That technology is not going away, and it's going to get worse, at least from the perspective of someone who expects a "living" wage for work that can be done by a Chinese teenager. Politicians could ban trade with China, I suppose, but you'd have to ban it with Mexico, Bangladesh, maybe even Greece. Good luck finding a party to do that. And it also has side-effects best left unexperienced.

The real problem going forward is going to be, do low-skill Americans, given the high price they must command by law, have anything at all to offer to the job market? This is not an insult, it's a huge, huge problem that will have to be faced one way or the other. Ganging up in a shoe-sewers union or a battery-testers union in today's world is not going to work. We must find some other way to ensure that Americans not only have something to offer, but that they have something to offer that is worth what they legally must charge for their labor.


Dave Trabert 1 year, 6 months ago

The unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of households (Current Population Survey) , in which residents are asked whether they are employed, unemployed seeking work or unemployed but not seeking work.

The September 2011 survey showed that 1,404,455 people were employed in Kansas and 100,093 were unemployed for a total workforce of 1,504,548. The unemployment rate was therefore 6.7%.

The September 2012 survey showed that 1,396,4636 people were employed in Kansas and 87,416 were unemployed for a total workforce of 1,484,052. The unemployment rate was therefore 5.9%.

The unemployment rate dropped because 20,496 people left the workforce...not because more people found work. In fact, the Current Population Survey showed that employment declined by 7,819 people.

The KDOL press release that reported more people working was referencing Current Employment Statistics, which is a different survey of employers. KDOL reported the unemployment rate from the CPS but didn't disclose that that survey also said employment declined.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

25,000 GM jobs were to lost China thanks to Romney and his investor pals one of which happens to be wife Ann. Made at least $15 million perhaps more than $100 million. With jobs disappearing is such large numbers it is hard to imagine unemployment rebounding into employment with any gusto.

Is this one of the tools republicans are using to keep Obama a one term president?

Brownback may be trying to use those companies that moved from the Missouri side to the Kansas side = a little bit bogus. Brownback laid out $47 million tax $$$$ to bribe AMC who then sold out to some chinese vulture capitalists.


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank you President Obama. The recovery is proceeding.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

Well...... Romney was saying 23 million are out of work. He also said Obama numbers are not right because so many drop from the sources that keep current with the unemployed.

Then again it has been estimated that as many as 20 million became unemployed s a result of the two republican home loan scams. Each time students graduate the unemployed numbers must rise.

When it gets cold unemployment numbers will rise as the seasonal work goes dormant.

I've never been convinced that anyone knows for certain. This matter developed more into a tool for political rhetoric than a matter of substance.

Romney cannot be all that concerned considering the number of jobs his money has sent abroad. His outsourcing history dates back to the Reagan/Bush days.


shotgun 1 year, 6 months ago

I can tell you how I personally contributed to the lowering of the Kansas Unemployment Rate, I went back to work in Missouri, where I can earn a decent salary! Kansas sucks, yeah there is a shortage of qualified workers for jobs available in Kansas. Some people do not want to work for peanuts.

So all of you "Conservatives" who think this has something to do with Sam Brownback, allow me to borrow one of your favorite phrases.............Keep drinking the Kool-Aid!


tomatogrower 1 year, 6 months ago

I personally think the Kansas unemployment rate and the US unemployment rate has dropped. Whether you can give credit politicians, I highly doubt that. I agree with Romney that government doesn't always create jobs, except for infrastructure projects and government agencies, but ... oh wait, he said he was going to create 12 million jobs. But then he said government doesn't create jobs. Huh? This happens every time I try to agree with Romney. Makes my head spin.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 6 months ago

Ya think this will swing bleeding Kansas over to Obama?? Ha, ha, ha,!!!

Nothing will move the hicks, fools, and clueless Kansans that already are part of the Koch regime in Kansas. Ignorance is bliss and the joy and celebration west of Topeka can be heard nationwide.


ShePrecedes 1 year, 6 months ago

I think we should thank the Pope for this (lie). LOL!!

Or Opus Dei!!! Bigger LOL!


ShePrecedes 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't blame politicians for the unemployment rate. I blame the Chambers of Commerce. I don't blame political parties for the state of our economy. I blame the big business and the non-local banks that purchase our politicians.


geekin_topekan 1 year, 6 months ago

Uh huh. Any numbers from Blowsalot's cabinet should be scrutinized.

Is it possible that 5000 packed the stuff and left town? After Boeing, State employees, Freightquote, ThyssenKrupp Access etc. lost their jobs, who knows how many sought greener pastures?

The Republican's Economic Genocide will always show rosey numbers. Always.


ShePrecedes 1 year, 6 months ago

FYI, there is a large mass of people who fall not on either side of the aisle, but actually fall IN the aisle. Meaning that there are people who do not take the either/or political position of GOP or Dem.

That you see the either/or, GOP/Dem on all things certainly says volumes about you. That the world you see is black or white and has no color or shades of grey. But the real world is all color, all shades of grey, and that most of the population falls in the political aisle.


omnedon 1 year, 6 months ago

Instead of speculating on who is responsible for the increase in employment, why not poll the employers to find out why they are hiring now? Is it tax incentives? Business is getting better and they can afford it now? They found a big pile of money and needed to do something with it?

Obama or Brownback...they will both accept the credit for the increase, and blame the other if it happens to go back down. What will YOU do to keep it going?


Timothy Eugene 1 year, 6 months ago

I trust an individual states numbers before I would trust a total number of all the states used for the government unemployment. Besides, if any of you would actually research ALL news stories, not just watch MSNBC, you would have seen that California failed to report their unemployment numbers for last month. The huge numbers missing due to that "accidental oversight" artificially dropped the nations unemployment number to 7.8 when it should have remained the same.

I reiterate......I would trust a single states numbers before a total of all 50. Too much chance for "accidental oversight."


SageonPage 1 year, 6 months ago

Scotty I know this news pains you, writing on positive effects of adult government is not your forte. I imagine your friend 'Chicken Little', aka Paul Davis, probably didn't want to jump in front of a camera with Lil' Tony Hensley in tow and decry the inhumanity of it all on this one. I also noticed that this awful story is about one quarter the length of the standard attack article...


tange 1 year, 6 months ago

Hmm... must be that "trickle-down government" to which Romney was referring.


Carol Bowen 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm glad the Kansas unemployment rate went down. Governor Brownback's new tax plan becomes effective in 2014. Has some stimulus for business already happened? How and why did the rate go down?


uglyrumor 1 year, 6 months ago

The jobs available suck compared to jobs of the past. The working poor are falling through the cracks. The right have crushed Unions and the livable wages that came with them. Those jobs are gone and they aren't coming back until we are the one's building TV's for the Chinese. By then the gap between the rich and the poor will be too large to fill. The rich get richer and you have been had.


JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 6 months ago

Just think...had Brownback not laid off so many state employees the rate would be even lower.


question4u 1 year, 6 months ago

September unemployment rates fell in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois, Washington, Kentucky, Missouri, Colorado...

Missouri's unemployment rate is the lowest since Dec. 2008 (and Flim-Flam Sam isn't governor there). New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois, and Washington aren't red states by any stretch of the imagination.

The same people who immediately rejected the latest national unemployment numbers now accept the Kansas numbers without question. So, somehow the national unemployment rate didn't drop but a lot of state unemployment rates did. Well, in Brownbackistan backwards land logic doesn't apply.


cheeseburger 1 year, 6 months ago

Bet it killed Rothschild to have to report something positive from the state's current republican administration.


WristTwister 1 year, 6 months ago

Looks like Big Sam was right. Stand by for howling and gnashing of teeth from the left side if the aisle.


Machiavelli_mania 1 year, 6 months ago

I think this issue is all about a manipulation of numbers and stats.

What I do know from this is that this is indeed what Brownback wants us to think. So I think I will be disbelieving it, since I do not trust Brownback.

Look at the people here who blindly accept this news!


63BC 1 year, 6 months ago

It's Brownback's fault!



Brock Masters 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank you Sam for creating an environment where business can flourish and hire workers.


sierraclub 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank GOD!!! I guess that CHANGE is working in Kansas!


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