Kansas jobless rate steady at 3.7 percent in June

Kansas Department of Labor

? The Kansas economy continued to shed jobs in June although the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent, the Kansas Department of Labor reported Friday.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the state lost 3,500 jobs in June, including 3,400 private-sector jobs. Although there were gains in the manufacturing and construction sectors, those were more than offset by losses in the service sector, especially business and professional services.

Despite those losses, labor market economist Emily Doerksen said some positive trends have been evident in the service sector over the past year, including increases in average weekly hours worked and average hourly earnings.

There were also 2,259 fewer people counted in the Kansas civilian labor force in June compared with May.

The job losses in Kansas occurred while the nation as a whole gained 222,000 jobs during the month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the Lawrence area, where the job market is dominated by the seasonal education sector, employment fell by 1,235 jobs over the month, but it was up by more than 2,000 jobs since June 2016.

The local unemployment rate stood at 3.7 percent in June, up from 3.3 percent in May but down from 4.4 percent in June 2016.

The Kansas side of the Kansas City metropolitan area also posted a 3.7 percent jobless rate in June — up from 3.5 percent in May, but down from 4.1 percent in June 2016.

The Topeka unemployment rate rose three-tenths of a point to 4 percent in June, which was still down from 4.3 percent a year ago.

Wichita’s unemployment rate stood at 4.6 percent in June, up four-tenths of a point from May but down from 5.1 percent a year ago.

The Manhattan metropolitan area had the lowest unemployment rate, at 3.4 percent. That was up three-tenths of a point from May but was down from 4.1 percent a year ago.