Kansas loses 5,300 private-sector jobs in May

Kansas Department of Labor

? The Kansas economy lost 5,300 private-sector jobs in May as the size of the state’s labor force continued to shrink, the Kansas Department of Labor reported Friday.

The seasonally adjusted figures showed a decrease both in the number of people employed and unemployed while the size of the state’s labor force shrank by 2,055 individuals. That left the state’s overall unemployment rate unchanged over the month at 3.7 percent.

“The number of unemployed individuals continued to decrease in May, an indication of a tightening labor market,” labor economist Emilie Doerksen said in a news release. “The establishment survey, however, has not shown signs of increased demand for labor, with relatively small changes in average weekly hours worked and nominal hourly earnings compared to May 2016.”

The biggest job losses were in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, where employment was down by 1,800 jobs. The manufacturing sector lost an estimated 1,300 jobs and the construction industry lost 700 jobs. Those figures are all seasonally adjusted.

In Douglas County, unemployment climbed three-tenths of a point in May to 3.3 percent, the same as it was in May 2016.

On the Kansas side of the Kansas City metropolitan area, the jobless rate climbed two-tenths of a point to 3.5 percent.

The jobless rate in Topeka also climbed two-tenths of a point in May, to 3.7 percent.

The five-county Wichita metropolitan area continued to have the highest unemployment rate in May, at 4.3 percent, three-tenths of a point higher than it was in April.

Manhattan, at 3 percent, had the lowest unemployment rate among the state’s five metropolitan areas, but it was still two-tenths of a point higher than in April.