TOPEKA – The last time the Kansas unemployment rate hit this August’s mark, Bill Clinton was president and Bill Graves was governor of the Sunflower state, according to preliminary jobless estimates reported by the Kansas Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics this week.
They show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.2% in August, down from 3.3% in July and down from 3.3% in August 2018.
“The unemployment rate fell to 3.2% in August for the first time in more than 20 years, and Kansas employers in the private sector added 4,200 jobs,” said Kansas Labor Secretary Delía García. “This growth was widespread with four industries contributing at least 1,000 jobs each.”
In Barton County, the rate bucked this trend slightly with an August 2019 rate of 3.4%, up a tick from 3.3 last August, but down from 3.5 in July. Out of a civilian workforce of 13,650, 13,192 were employed, leaving 458 out of work.
Seasonally adjusted job estimates indicate total Kansas nonfarm jobs increased by 7,900 from July. Private sector jobs, a subset of total nonfarm jobs, increased by 4,200 from the previous month.
“Kansas has seen significant growth in the number of private sector jobs compared to last August,” said KDOL economist Emilie Doerksen. “This has been broad economic growth, with all 10 of the major private sector industries either remaining stable or adding jobs over the year.”
Since August 2018, Kansas gained 15,500 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs and 17,800 private sector jobs.
BLS revised seasonally adjusted preliminary total nonfarm jobs estimates for July upward by 800 jobs, from 1,430,400 to 1,431,200. Seasonally adjusted private sector jobs were revised downward by 500 jobs, from 1,172,200 to 1,171,700.
Looking at the national picture, the unemployment rate, 3.7%, was unchanged over the month and little changed from August 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in August, 2.1 and Alaska had the highest at 6.2.
The Unemployment rates were lower in August in five states, higher in three states, and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Five states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, two states had increases, and 43 states and the District had little or no change.