Kansas loses 5,300 private-sector jobs in May

Kansas Department of Labor

Kansas Department of Labor

June 16, 2017


— 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.


Brett McCabe 10 months, 1 week ago

I'm confident that Sam and Kris will find a silver-lining, plus proof-positive that, if it weren't for the millions of illegal voters who were counted as unemployed twice in different states, then these numbers would be much better. This is what happens when the three-legged stool is left in the care of the two-legged stooges.

Other than the ELNA, it's difficult to imagine any group of people less in touch with reality than Kansas republicans. The NIMBY's of the east basically equal the DUMBY's of the west. Between the two, bad ideas rein and petitions flourish.

Greg Cooper 10 months, 1 week ago

Just read articles in the Wash Post and NY Times about. Hope springs eternal that the nation will be a bit more circumspect in looking at how the whole "trickle down" theory worked here, but Trumpkins seem to not be able to comprehend history like Watergate, Kansas, you know, unique things like that.

Steve Jacob 10 months, 1 week ago

Third longest economic recovery in American history, low unemployment rate, and still no wage growth and retail is doing poorly. Numbers don't add up.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 months, 1 week ago

We aren't talking about the country here. And at least the country has had slow steady growth. Kansas has had no growth. And we could take care of "low unemployment rate, and still no wage growth", if people weren't so anti-union. The rich need to be reminded who makes the money for them. The unemployment rate is low enough that they would have a hard time finding scabs.

David Holroyd 10 months ago

Ms. Hoyt-Reed, have you considered putting those idle hands to work to restore the battered stained glass windows that used to showcase the Mausoleum.

That would be a kind an wonderful gesture to the community.

Steve Jacob 10 months, 1 week ago

I am now worried about all the Kroger/Dillions in Kansas. 25% stock drop in two days scares me. Retail is in big trouble.

Brett McCabe 10 months, 1 week ago

And yet, the same state that brought us the thriving Tanger Outlet Mall is trying to force-feed another dinosaur down our gullets.

This city is so far behind the curve, it makes me nervous. City commissioners trying to saddle every core development with guilt-ridding affordable housing, turning down $1.5 million in federal money on Kasold, and taking Facebook polls.

Brick and mortar retail is dead. It's over. it's finished. Please stop. Retail dollars now flow through Amazon, but they offer $11 hr. jobs in Gardner, if you want to try and feed your family on that.

The single most important issue facing this city (other than the most backwards-thinking city commission east of Pratt) is wages. The next candidate that complains about apartment buildings, or downtown investment, or pretends that they know how to attract jobs to this city should be run out of town in tar and feathers. People cannot spend what they do not have.

Jobs 1, 2 and 3: Increase property revenue by reinvesting in density. Raise working wages. Quit sprawling.

Herbert, Soden and Larsen are all sprawlers in sheeps clothing. Well-hidden, unless you have the sense of smell.

David Holroyd 10 months ago

And what is it Mr. McCabe that you might think are well paying jobs? selling cars? selling real estate?

The only jobs with wages more than what you want are already here, the city, the county, the school district and state jobs.

I doubt that there is a Mr. McCabe anymore than a Paul Beyer, the guy who didn't know if he was in the Army or Airforce.

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

That's because Amazon bought Whole Foods. This purchase sent shockwaves throughout the industry so some say.

Apparently Kroger was contemplating such a move however AMAZON was there first.

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

Interesting the Wall Street impact of Amazon purchasing Whole Foods.

Some big name grocery corporations took a big hit on Wall Street.

A very smart buy for AMAZON ......

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

Apparently the Free Lunch tax dollar give aways do not generate new employment. So much for tax dollar subsidies, tax rebates, tax abatements etc etc etc etc etc.

GM is about to increase the job loss number by 1000.

David Holroyd 10 months, 1 week ago

Carol (Bowen) read what the article says about the labor force shrinking. If that is true, then it hilghligts again what I have repeatedly said about jobs coming to Lawrence.

Workers are the key. Right now if I were a business of manufacturing I would head to the KCKS area or KCMo area as there going to be 1,000 readily available workers soon.

Lawrence is not getting squat! All Lawrence does is increase governmental spending and for what return?

David Holroyd 10 months ago

The jobs in Lawrence are commissions for realtors, folks selling at a loss, commercial properties hoping to be leased. The south Lawrence shopping center is about commissions, the Van Trust warehouse building on 23rd at Venture Park is about commissions. Whose business operation can be stolen from a current site to the Venture Park site.

It will be a wonderful day if Van Trust brough 500 jobs to Lawrence, but doubtful. Instead a building will be built and probably end up like every other building of size in Olathe being chopped up with 2 or 3 employees in each section, selling floor tile, carpet, online sales and even the possbility that since the zoning is okay....a grocery store could even locate at Venture Park.

Speaking of grocery stores...and the city commission 's big ideas of's come no one seems to care if the city commission gives an INTEREST FREE loan to Queen's Price Chopper? What you think about that Mr. Richard Heckler?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 months ago

There is an empty spot at the corner of 11th and Mass that had a nice florist, but a good old capitalist came along, bought the building and raised the rent so high they had to move. Last time I looked it was still empty. I guess the owner is making more money with it empty? There are several empty shops downtown, because they want too much rent. They only businesses that can make it downtown are restaurants and bars, unless they are in buildings still owned by someone who runs a business there, or that isn't owned by one of the greedy developers. But I'm sure you love these guys.

Bob Smith 10 months ago

If you want to construct a building and offer the nice florist an inexpensive place of business, go right ahead. Nobody is stopping you.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.