Kansas jobless rate holds at 2.9% in April, unchanged since November

by Tim Carpenter, Kansas Reflector
May 19, 2023

TOPEKA — The Kansas unemployment rate remained at 2.9% in April despite a hiring uptick of 300 in government positions and decline of 500 people holding private-sector jobs.

The Kansas Department of Labor and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday the estimate of joblessness held at the 2.9% level reported each month since November. Metropolitan areas in Kansas experienced slight declines in April, which the Kansas City market dipping to 2.8%.

Kansas’ rate surged in April 2020 at outset of the COVID-19 pandemic to 12.4%, but retreated to 3.5% in April 2021. In April 2022, the rate stood at 2.4%.

In the most recent 12-month period, the number of seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs — a combination of private sector and government employment — increased in the state by 32,100. The majority of that growth, nearly 28,000 jobs, was in the private sector.

State labor department economist Nathan Kessler said average hourly earnings for the private sector in Kansas had climbed 3.8% from April 2022 to April 2023.

“Although inflation continues to grow faster than hourly earnings in the private sector,” Kessler said, “several industries have experienced growth in real wages, most notably manufacturing and leisure and hospitality.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Kansas had 1.47 million employed residents and 44,000 unemployed residents.

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith for questions: info@kansasreflector.com. Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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