Kansas unemployment rate up since July

Job Application (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
Job Application (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – In what could be bad news on the business front, the state’s unemployment rate jumped last month. In July, it was 4 percent. But, officials say it rose to 4.3 percent in August.

“An unemployment rate here is still much lower than that of the nation,” explained, Jeremy Hill, Center for Economic Development and Business Research.

Hill says Kansans should be happy about that statistic.

However, it still doesn’t outweigh the fact that over the last month, Kansas has lost a total of 2,600 non-farm jobs, and compared to a year ago the state is down almost 8,000 jobs.

“The employment numbers don’t look good, they look negative year after year for the state. But, they look good for a lot of the cities,” Hill said.

Hill tells KSN that cities like Wichita, are actually seeing an uptick in job opportunities. And, the peak in unemployment rate could be people are deciding to quit their jobs, and find a better one.

“We’re growing, we continue to expand. So, there could be some people that are just saying, this is the time for me to voluntarily leave my current employer and go look,” started Hill.

Angie Duntz with Workforce Alliance says they’ve seen a jump of 500 more people looking for work, in just the last month.

“We have seen people that are maybe looking to move up to that next position, but we’ve also seen people that have been laid off,” said Duntz, Communications Director of Workforce Alliance South Central.

Friday afternoon, dozens were in the lobby sitting at computers sending off resumes, or filling out applications.

Duntz also tells KSN, here in Wichita, the job market is hot, giving hope to those looking for a new opportunity.

“We know that there are jobs available. We know that there are employers hiring in this community. We know that job seekers are looking for those positions.”

According to Duntz, in Wichita the Workforce Alliance has seen an increase in job fairs. To date so far this year, the program has had 26 more job fairs on site and in the community than they did last year.

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