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Jobless numbers keep dropping
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 What is meant by “seasonally adjusted?”
According to the Kansas Department of Labor, seasonal adjustment is a “statistical technique which eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.” This permits easier observation and analysis of cyclical, trend and other non-seasonal movements in the data. By eliminating seasonal fluctuations, it is easier to compare data from month to month.
Non-seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers for surrounding counties:
November 2011 (statewide 6 percent)
Ellsworth County – 3.8
Pawnee County – 4.2
Rice County – 4.6
Rush County – 4.0
Russell County – 4.4
Stafford County – 4.5

October 2011 (statewide 6.2 percent)
Ellsworth County – 3.7
Pawnee County – 4.1
Rice County – 4.7
Rush County – 4.2
Russell County – 4.6
Stafford County – 5.3

November 2010 (statewide 6.7 percent)
Ellsworth County – 4.1
Pawnee County – 4.0
Rice County – 4.4
Rush County – 5.2
Russell County – 5.2
Stafford County – 4.8

The unemployment rate in Kansas continued its slow downward trek in November, the Kansas Department of Labor announced Monday. This marked the third straight month with lower jobless numbers and more Kansans entering the workforce.
The November unemployment rate in Kansas was 6.0 percent, down from 6.2 percent in October and down from 6.8 percent in November 2010, KDL said in its December report. The seasonally adjusted rate was 6.5 percent, down from 6.7 percent in October and down from 6.9 percent a year ago.
That means statewide, out of a civilian workforce of 1,512,546, 91,317, were unemployed.
In Barton County, the jobless rate stood at 4.5 percent in November, down from 4.6 October and 5.4 November 2010. Of a workforce totalling 16,223, 733 were unemployed.
“During November, not only did the unemployment rate decrease, it did so with more people entering the labor force,” said Karin Brownlee, Kansas secretary of labor. “This is positive news.”
According to KDL November estimates, Kansas gained 5,000 nonfarm jobs over the month, a 0.4 percent increase. Kansas gained 4,500 private sector jobs over the month.
Over the year, Kansas has added 8,400 nonfarm jobs, a 0.6 percent increase, and private sector jobs were up by 11,100 since last November.
 “More than 15,000 people joined the Kansas labor force during the past three months,” said Tyler Tenbrink, KDOL labor economist. “People are beginning to look for work again and, for now, the economy is producing enough jobs to fill the added demand.”
However, he cautioned, a number of these jobs are “seasonal in nature.”
In other report highlights, seven of the 11 major industries in Kansas reported over-the-month job gains. These gains were greatest in: Trade, transportation and utilities, gained 4,000 jobs, a 1.6 percent increase; professional and business services gained 1,700 jobs, a 1.1 percent increase; and education and health services gained 1,600 jobs, a 0.9 percent increase. 
Three of the 11 major industries reported statewide over-the-month job losses. These were in: Leisure and hospitality lost 3,000 jobs, a 2.6 percent decrease; the other services industry lost 300 jobs, a 0.6 percent decrease; and construction lost 200 jobs, a 0.4 percent decline. Losses were in specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction.
Five of the 11 major industries in Kansas reported over-the-year job gains. These gains were primarily in the following areas: Professional and business services gained 8,900 jobs, a 6.2 percent increase; manufacturing gained 5,300 jobs, a 3.3 percent increase; and education and health services gained 3,300 jobs, a 1.8 percent increase. These gains were primarily in healthcare and social assistance.
Six of the 11 major industries reported statewide over-the-year job losses. These losses were greatest in the following areas: Information lost 3,000 jobs, a 9.9 percent decrease; financial activities lost 2,700 jobs, a 3.8 percent decrease; and government lost 2,700 jobs, a 1.0 percent decline
There were 18,283 initial claims for unemployment benefits in November 2011, up from 16,713 initial claims in October 2011 and down from 23,822 in November 2010. There were 182,778 continued claims in November 2011, down from 209,659 in October 2011 and down from 270,864 in November 2010.
The December 2011 Labor Report will be released on January 24, 2012.