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Kansas jobless rates hold steady
Regional rates see little change month over month
march labor map
This map provided by the Kansas Department of Labor shows the unemployment figures across the state for March.

Area unemployment rates

March 2023

• Barton County, 3.0%

• Ellsworth County, 2.7%

• Pawnee County, 3.0%

• Rice County, 3.0%

• Rush County, 2.9%

• Russell County, 2.4%

• Stafford County, 2.7%

February 2023

• Barton County, 3.4%

• Ellsworth County, 3.0%

• Pawnee County, 3.1%

• Rice County, 2.7%

• Rush County, 2.8%

• Russell County, 2.8%

• Stafford County, 2.8%

March 2022

• Barton County, 2.4%

• Ellsworth County, 2.1%

• Pawnee County, 2.4%

• Rice County, 2.1%

• Rush County, 2.0%

• Russell County, 2.0%

• Stafford County, 2.1%

TOPEKA – The unemployment rate in Kansas held steady from February to March. While up from a year ago, the jobless numbers are still among the strongest recorded in the state as some sectors of the economy showed growth, the Kansas Department of Labor reported Friday.

Preliminary estimates released by the Labor Market Information Services division of the KDOL and the Bureau of Labor Statistics show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.9% in March. This is unchanged from 2.9% in February and an increase from 2.4% in March 2022.

In Barton County, out of a civilian workforce of 13,125. 12,727 were employed and 398 were jobless. The jobless rate in March was 3.0 this March, 3.3 lasts month and 2.4 in March of 2022.

“The Kansas unemployment rate remained steady at 2.9% throughout the first quarter of 2023,” said Labor Secretary Amber Shultz. “This is an increase from a series low of 2.4% last year, but still one of the lowest recorded unemployment rates for the state.”

Seasonally adjusted job estimates for Kansas indicate total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 2,200 from February. Total nonfarm includes private sector and government employers. Private sector jobs decreased by 2,900 over the month, while government increased by 700.

“Kansas nonfarm job estimates for March showed little change over the month,” said KDOL economist Emilie Doerksen. “The state has seen significant growth over the year, led by gains in professional, scientific, and technical services as well as growth in health care and social assistance.”

Since March 2022, Kansas’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs have increased by 37,100. This change is due to an increase of 33,200 private sector jobs and an increase of 3,900 government jobs.

Nationally, the unemployment rate, 3.5%, changed little both over the month and over the year. 

Unemployment rates were lower in March in 18 states, higher in the District of Columbia, and stable in 32 states. Eleven states and the District had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 10 states had increases, and 29 states had little change.

The unemployment rate in Kansas is based on data collected through the Current Population Survey and estimates produced by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. The LAUS data is produced in cooperation with the BLS, which means that the same methodology is used for all states. 

In Kansas, data for the number of individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits is based on administrative data from claimants filing unemployment insurance claims with KDOL. These two measures offer distinct but related measures of trends in joblessness.

The April 2023 Labor Report will be released on Friday, May 19.