WICHITA, Kansas – – Governor Sam Brownback’s aggressive tax cuts for businesses back in 2012 were supposed to spur job growth.
However, numbers fresh from the labor department show just the opposite.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from April to May of this year, job numbers dropped by about a third of a percent.
That puts Kansas way down at number 48th out of fifty states for job growth.
Kansas is now ahead of only West Virginia and Wyoming when it comes to job growth.
The declining job growth is affecting those in search of employment.
Mitzi Trout was laid off five months ago after working 11 years in the sales and customer service department for UTC Aerospace.
“I thought I was relatively valuable to the company, it surprised me that I was going home,” said Trout.
Trout has started working on her masters in operations management, thinking it would make her more marketable…
However, that hasn’t been the case.
“You know I’ve been putting in applications and I haven’t even gotten an interview at this point,” said Trout.
Figures from the Department of Labor show that here in Wichita, the unemployment rate rose slightly in May, up to five percent from 4.8% in April.
Economist Jeremy Hill says in the short term, some of the troubles point to what has gone on with our budget and cuts to state jobs.
Hill says in the past month, about 200 jobs have been cut locally.
“State related jobs, they’re going to affect other jobs in this economy, you lose those you lose the spending and it’s going to affect some of those typical support related sectors,” said Hill.
Hill says the states budget situation even now has left employers weary.
“Unfortunately we still have an environment where there is still an uncertainty of what’s going to happen next year,” said Hill.
It’s uncertainty that’s also being felt by job seekers, like Trout.
“If getting food on the table and making sure the rent is paid means taking a job that pays less than I was hoping for then we’ll tighten our belts and I’ll take that job,” said Trout.
While job growth is lagging and unemployment is up, there are still jobs out there.
According to the Kansas Works website, there are currently more than 36,000 openings across the state.