Kansas jobless rate rises slightly in March

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Unemployment rose slightly in Kansas in March despite a drop of more than 1,300 applications for initial unemployment benefit claims.

The Kansas Department of Labor reported late Thursday that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 5.5 percent in February to 5.6 percent in March. The rate was 5.8 percent in March 2012.

A labor economist says Kansas didn’t add as many jobs that it typically does in March, suggesting a slowdown in economic momentum. The private sector added 3,100 jobs, primarily in construction and leisure and hospitality professions.

Initial claims for jobless benefits fell from 16,388 in February to 15,069 in March. The figure was also below the 17,997 initial claims filed in March 2012. There were some 128,000 people still receiving continued jobless benefits.

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