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Unemployment rate declines in August

POSTED September 25, 2012 3:09 p.m.
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    TOPEKA – The August Labor Report shows a decline in the unemployment rate, improvements in unemployment insurance claims and continued increases in jobs numbers since 2011.
The August 2012 unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, down from 6.7 percent in July 2012 and from 6.9 percent one year ago. The seasonally adjusted rate ticked down to 6.2 percent in August from 6.7 percent in August 2011 and 6.3 percent in July 2012.
In Barton County, the rate was 4.5 in August and 4.6 in July. This is down from 5.3 percent in August 2011.
Both initial and continued unemployment insurance claims decreased this month. Numbers improved from one month ago and from August 2011.
Of a total statewide workforce of 1,482,005, 1,309,074 were employed, the KDOL reported. That left 91,931 without work. In Barton County, out of an available labor pool of 16,151, 15,423 were working, leaving 728 jobless.
Kansas gained 17,700 nonfarm jobs since August 2011, a 1.3 percent increase. The state also grew by 16,800 private sector jobs during this time, a 1.5 percent gain.
Nationally, the Labor Department reported the economy added 96,000 jobs in August, which was down from 141,000 jobs in July. Additionally, unemployment fell to 8.1 percent, from 8.3.
“In August the Kansas labor force declined by just above 5,000 people most of whom were over age 55 and employed. This is a continuing trend that has caused the labor force participation rate to decline 1.5 percent since January,” Tyler Tenbrink, labor economist, said. “If this trend continues the job openings resulting from these workers leaving the labor force will help alleviate some of the surplus of unemployed workers.”
Seven of the 11 major industries reported job gains since August 2011. Professional and business services increased by 9,500 jobs or 6.3 percent. Manufacturing added 5,300 jobs, creating a 3.3 percent increase.
Four of the 11 major industries saw gains from one month ago. Government gained 5,000 jobs with seasonal gains from state university and local school district employees returning to work. Manufacturing gained 1,200 jobs since July.
The September 2012 Labor Report will be released on Oct. 18, 2012.

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