Revised jobs report shows Kansas lost 2,300 private-sector jobs in 2016

Kansas Department of Labor

? The Kansas Department of Labor on Friday issued revised jobs numbers for January that show the state lost 2,400 nonfarm jobs compared with January 2016, or 0.2 percent. That included 2,300 private-sector jobs.

The U.S. economy gained roughly 2.3 million jobs over that same period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The biggest job losses during the year were in manufacturing, and professional and business services.

The service sector, including financial activities and education and health services, posted the biggest job gains.

Overall, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged over the year at 4.1 percent. The Lawrence metropolitan area posted a jobless rate of 3.5 percent.

Labor economist Emilie Doerksen said that was due mainly to a shrinking labor force in Kansas.

“While the unemployment rate remains low, the labor force and employment have contracted over the year,” Doerksen said in a news release. “This is consistent with the survey of employers which indicates fewer nonfarm jobs than last year.”

Friday’s report showed the month-to-month change from December 2016 was a loss of 3,500 nonfarm jobs in Kansas, including 1,400 private-sector jobs. But the unemployment rate also fell two-tenths of a point, from 4.3 percent.

Friday’s report represents the first estimate of the January 2017 labor market in Kansas. But the numbers for 2016 were revised, based on an annual process conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics known as “benchmarking.”

That’s a process of revising estimates for the previous 10 months using more comprehensive employment data from the previous March.

Preliminary estimates for February’s employment and unemployment numbers are scheduled for release on March 24.