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State, county jobless rate climb
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Unemployment numbers for surrounding counties:

January 2011 (statewide 7.4 percent)

Ellsworth County – 4.5

Pawnee County – 4.3

Rice County – 4.9

Rush County – 5.6

Russell County – 5.4

Stafford County – 4.4


December 2010 (statewide 6.7 percent)

Ellsworth County – 3.6

Pawnee County – 3.6

Rice County – 4.2

Rush County 1 – 4.9

Russell County – 4.7

Stafford County – 4.4


January 2010 (statewide 7.1 percent)

Ellsworth County – 4.8

Pawnee County – 4.2

Rice County – 4.7

Rush County – 5.9

Russell County – 5.2

Stafford County – 5.5

Kansas labor officials are pinning January’s larger-than-anticipated rise in the state’s unemployment rate on weather and the end of holiday hiring, not on the lingering impact of the recession. The January 2011 jobless rate was 7.4 percent, up from 6.4 in December 2010 but down from 7.1 percent in January 2010.

In Barton County, the rate was 5.5 percent, up from 5 percent in December, but down from 6.2 in January 2010. The 5.5 percent means out of a potential workforce of 15,783, in the county, there were 872 residents without work.

In all, Kansas businesses lost 35,500 jobs from December to January, a 2.7 percent decrease, the Kansas Department of Labor reported this week. These are the most current numbers released by KDOL.

Linn County in far eastern Kansas had the highest rate at 13 percent. Wyandotte and Wilson counties had 11.3, Leavenworth had 10, Sedgwick, 9, Johnson County 6.7, Saline, 6.8, Reno 6.4, and Ellis 3.6.

"Although private-sector job losses in January are typical and mostly due to the seasonal factors, this month’s job loss was still greater than expected," said Tyler Tenbrink, a KDOL labor economist. "We believe this is most likely due to inclement weather during January, and not evidence of further deterioration of the labor market. It will be important to see the employment data in the next couple of months to better understand this trend."

According to January 2011 estimates, Kansas businesses lost 6,100 jobs over-the-year, a 0.5 percent decrease. The January 2011 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, unchanged from December 2010 and down from 7.2 percent in January 2010.

The report also included the following highlights:

• Five of the 11 major industries in Kansas reported over-the-year job gains in January. These included professional and business services; education and health services (which experienced gains in private education); mining and logging (primarily oil and gas production); leisure and hospitality; and government.

• However, six major industries reported statewide over-the-year losses.

These losses were highest in the following areas: Information services lost 2,800 jobs over-the-year, an 8.6 percent decrease. The majority of losses in this industry were in telecommunications; construction lost 2,100 jobs, a 4.4 percent decrease. The majority of losses in this area were in specialty trade contractors; and financial activities lost 1,700 jobs, a 2.4 percent decrease. The majority of losses in this industry were in insurance carriers.

• All major industries in Kansas reported over-the-month job losses in January. A majority of these losses were seasonal, and were highest in trade, transportation and utilities, construction and professional and business services.

• There were 32,089 initial claims (Regular, Extended Benefit and Emergency Unemployment Compensation) for unemployment benefits in January, up from 27,889 initial claims in December 2010 and down from 33,075 in January 2010. There were 297,180 continued claims (regular, extended and emergency) in January, up from 229,788 in December 2010 and down from 313,032 in January 2010. State Extended Benefits and Emergency Unemployment Compensation are federally funded.

• Annually, monthly statistics from the last two years are revised according to standards set by the U.S. Department of Labor, to assure consistency of reporting among the states. Revisions of 2010 Kansas nonfarm data and civilian labor force data (including unemployment rates) have been completed and are available on the KDOL website.

"The Great Recession continues to take a tremendous toll on the Kansas economy," said Karin Brownlee, Kansas secretary of labor. "Improving the tax and regulatory climate will help take some of the sting out of this recession and get Kansans back to work."

The February 2011 Labor Report will be released March 25, 2011.