Unemployment numbers for surrounding counties:
March 2011 (statewide 7.1 percent)
Ellsworth County – 4.2
Pawnee County – 4.4
Rice County – 4.9
Rush County – 5.8
Russell County – 5.5
Stafford County – 5.6
February 2011 (statewide 7.2 percent)
Ellsworth County – 4.8
Pawnee County – 4.4
Rice County – 5.0
Rush County – 5.7
Russell County – 5.7
Stafford County – 5.8
March 2010 (statewide 6.9 percent)
Ellsworth County – 4.3
Pawnee County – 4.2
Rice County – 4.5
Rush County – 5.6
Russell County – 4.8
Stafford County – 5.0
The state’s jobless rate continued its downward trend in March as unemployment in Kansas hit 7.1 percent, the Kansas Department of Labor announced this week. This is down from 7.2 percent in February 2011 and down from 7.5 percent in March 2010.
The rate in Barton County is 5.4 percent, down from 5.6 in February and from 5.6 in March 2010. Translated, in March of this year, there were 15,016 people employed out of a civilian labor pool of 15,903, leaving 887 out of work.
However, the statewide March 2011 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, unchanged from 6.8 percent in February 2011 and down from 7.2 percent in March 2010. Seasonally adjusted numbers have been revised to exclude yearly seasonal job fluctuations.
“The March Labor Report suggests that Kansas may be about to turn the corner in jobs created or retained,” said Karin Brownlee, Kansas Secretary of Labor. “However, our optimism must be curbed with caution until we see a greater pace of private sector job growth.”
“A healthy growth of private employment in March partially offset the unexpected declines during the first two months of the year,” said Tyler Tenbrink, KDOL economist. “Employment growth in March was positive; however, over-the-year employment growth is still negative. For this reason, the employment progress in the next couple months will be critical to confirm if Kansas employment has already passed its trough.”
According to March 2011 estimates, Kansas lost 5,200 nonfarm jobs over the year, a 0.4 percent decrease. Over the month, Kansas nonfarm employment gained 14,800 jobs, a 1.1 percent increase.
There were 18,480 initial claims for unemployment benefits in March; up from 16,331 initial claims in February 2011 and down from 20,981 in March 2010. There were 222,071 continued claims in March; down from 234,356 in February 2011 and down from 372,977 in March 2010. These numbers include Regular, Extended Benefit and Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims. EB and EUC benefits are federally funded through 2011.
Five of the 11 major industries reported statewide over-the-year job losses. These losses were greatest in the following areas:
• Information services lost 2,800 jobs, an 8.8 percent decrease. These losses were primarily in telecommunications.
• Financial activities lost 2,600 jobs, a 3.7 percent decrease. In this industry, job losses were greatest in finance and insurance.
• Leisure and hospitality lost 2,000 jobs, a 1.8 percent decrease. These losses were primarily in food services and drinking places.
Although there were slight over-the-year job losses overall, five major industries in Kansas reported over-the-year job gains. These gains were greatest in the following areas:
• Education and health services gained 2,400 jobs, a 1.3 percent increase. Most of these gains were in health care and social assistance; manufacturing gained 600 jobs, a 0.4 percent increase, representing the first over-the-year gain since September 2008. March gains were mostly in non-durable goods.
• Government gained 600 jobs, a 0.2 percent increase. These gains were primarily in local government.
Nine of the 11 major industries in Kansas reported over-the-month job gains. These gains were the greatest in the following areas:
• Government gained 3,400 jobs, a 1.3 percent increase. These gains were mostly in local government and follow typical trends for the month.
• Construction gained 2,600 jobs, a 5.7 percent increase. These gains were primarily in heavy and civil engineering.
• Leisure and hospitality gained 2,500 jobs, a 2.4 percent increase. These gains were mostly in food services and drinking places.
Two major industries reported statewide over-the-month job losses. These losses were in the following areas:
• Financial activities lost 500 jobs, a 0.7 percent decrease. These losses were primarily in credit intermediation and related activities.
• Information services lost 100 jobs, a 0.3 percent decrease. These losses were mostly in telecommunications.
The April 2011 Labor Report will be released May 20, 2011.