TOPEKA – With the holiday seasonal hiring leading the way, Kansas’ October seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, the same rate that was reported in Barton County, according to figures released by the Kansas Department of Labor last week.
Statewide, this was unchanged from September and up from 4.0 percent in October 2015. In Barton County, the September rate was 4.3 and last October, it was 4.0.
“Kansas retailers are off to a fast start with their seasonal hiring this year,” said Tyler Tenbrink, senior labor economist. “The number of retail trade jobs in the state increased by 2,400 in October.”
However, “it remains to be seen if this pace will continue, or if employers are hiring their seasonal workers early this year compared to years past,” he said.
The preliminary seasonally adjusted job estimates from the Kansas Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Kansas nonfarm jobs increased by 900 from September. Since last month, Kansas private sector jobs increased by 900.
This is echoed nationwide.
“For the month of November 2016 we saw very strong job growth that has almost doubled in gains over October 2016,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute. “This growth was seen in primarily consumer-driven industries like retail and leisure and hospitality – across all company sizes. Overall, consumers are feeling confident and are driving the strong performance we currently see in the job market.”
“Businesses hired aggressively in November and there is little evidence that the uncertainty surrounding the presidential election dampened hiring,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “In addition, because of the tightening labor market, retailers may be accelerating seasonal hiring to secure an adequate workforce to meet holiday demand, although total expected seasonal hiring may be no higher than last year’s.”
Nationally, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 161,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 percent, down at tick from 5.0 in September (it was also 5.0 percent in October 2015), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Employment continued to trend up in health care, professional and business services, and financial activities.
Back in Kansas
The largest private sector over-the-month job increase was in manufacturing.
Over the year, Kansas lost 5,300 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs. Kansas lost 5,700 private sector jobs since October 2015.
Kansas not-seasonally-adjusted nonfarm jobs decreased by 5,400, a 0.4 percent decrease since October 2015. Kansas lost 5,700 private sector jobs since last year, or 0.5 percent.
The state gained 10,600 total not-seasonally-adjusted nonfarm jobs over the month. Since September, private sector jobs increased by 5,100, or 0.4 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics did not revise the seasonally adjusted preliminary total nonfarm job estimates for September. Seasonally adjusted private sector jobs were revised upward by 300 jobs, from 1,139,000 to 1,139,300.
Seasonally adjusted estimates for October show that the state’s labor force increased by 333 to 1,483,372. Of those in the labor force, 1,417,937 Kansans were employed and 65,435 were unemployed. This month’s net change in the labor force was attributable to 98 fewer Kansans counted as employed and 431 more unemployed.
Over the year, the labor force decreased by 20,769 persons, with a decrease of 25,601 in employment and an increase of 4,832 in unemployment.
The labor force participation rate was 66.7 percent, unchanged from September and down from 68.0 percent last October.
In Barton County, the civilian labor force totaled 14,082, of which 13,467 were employed.
The state November 2016 Labor Report will be released on Friday, Dec. 16.