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State jobless rate continues downward
Barton unemployment numbers lower than the state
december jobless map
This map provided by the Kansas Department of Labor shows the unemployment figures across the state for December.

Area unemployment rates

December 2021

• Barton County, 2.1%

• Ellsworth County, 1.6%

• Pawnee County, 1.8%

• Rice County, 1.7%

• Rush County, 1.6%

• Russell County, 1.8%

• Stafford County, 2.4%

November 2021

• Barton County, 2.4%

• Ellsworth County, 1.7%

• Pawnee County, 1.8%

• Rice County, 2.0%

• Rush County, 1.9%

• Russell County, 2.1%

• Stafford County, 1.6%

December 2020

• Barton County, 3.1%

• Ellsworth County, 3.4%

• Pawnee County, 3.6%

• Rice County, 2.8%

• Rush County, 2.8%

• Stafford County, 2.6%

TOPEKA – As 2021 drew to a close, continued improvement in Kansas’s jobless rate pointed to a continued improvement in the state’s economy, according to preliminary unemployment estimates reported last Friday by the Kansas Labor Market Information Services division of the Kansas Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They showed a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.3% in December, a decrease from 3.6% in November and a decrease from 4.7% in December 2020.

In Barton County, the rate was 2.1%. down from 2.4% in November 2021, and also down from 3.1% in December 2020. Out of a civilian labor force of 13,398, 13,111 were at work with 287 unemployed.

“Kansas ended the year with sustained progress towards economic recovery in the state,” said Labor Secretary Amber Shultz. “Estimates indicate that employers continued to add jobs in December and the unemployment rate declined to 3.3%.” 

Seasonally adjusted job estimates indicate total Kansas nonfarm jobs increased by 800 from November. Private sector jobs, a subset of total nonfarm jobs, increased by 2,000 from the previous month, while government decreased by 1,200.

“Kansas nonfarm jobs increased for the seventh consecutive month as gains in the private sector offset a decline in government jobs in December,” said Labor economist Emilie Doerksen. “Although the rate of growth has slowed, December estimates indicate continued expansion for trade, transportation, and utilities as well as continued recovery in manufacturing.”

Since December 2020, Kansas seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs have increased by 38,600. This change is due to an increase of 36,500 private sector jobs and 2,100 government jobs.

BLS revised seasonally adjusted preliminary total nonfarm jobs estimates for November upward by 1,000 jobs, from 1,391,500 to 1,392,500. Seasonally adjusted private sector jobs were also revised upward by  1,500 jobs, from 1,142,300 to 1,143,800.

Nationally, The national unemployment rate, 3.9 percent, declined by 0.3 percentage point over the month and was 2.8 points lower than in December 2020, the BLS reported last Friday. Unemployment rates were lower in December in 42 states and the District of Columbia

and stable in eight states. 

Forty-eight states and the District had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and two states were little changed. 

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 17 states and was essentially unchanged in 33 states and the District of Columbia in December 2021. Over the year, 48 states and the District added nonfarm payroll jobs and twostates were essentially unchanged.

Since March 15, 2020 KDOL has paid out over 5.2 million weekly claims totaling over $3.3 billion between regular unemployment and the federal pandemic programs. Additional resources for affected workers and employers may be found at the Kansas Department of Labor’s website, and

The January 2022 Labor Report will be released on Friday, March 11.