Kansas employment situation, August 2021

In Kansas for August 2021, the labor force rose slightly, the number of people working fell, and the unemployment rate was unchanged, all compared to the previous month.

Data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mixed employment picture in Kansas for August 2021 when compared to the previous month. The unemployment rate was unchanged, but the number of jobs fell after rising in the previous two months.

(Click charts and tables for larger versions.)

Using seasonally adjusted data, from July 2021 to August 2021, nonfarm employment in Kansas fell by 1,300 jobs (0.1 percent). Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for August 2021 was higher by 22,500 (1.7 percent) over the same month last year. This is using seasonally adjusted data.

Over the year (August 2020 to August 2021), the Kansas labor force rose by 5,542 people (0.4 percent) using seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, with an increase of 757 (0.0 percent) over the last month.

Since last summer, the monthly jobs count has risen and fallen, usually by small amounts, with August marking the first loss after two positive months. There are now 110,300 (8.7 percent) more jobs in Kansas than in April 2020, which is the low point since the pandemic’s start. There are 47,700 (3.3 percent) fewer jobs than in February 2020, just before the pandemic.

The number of unemployed persons fell from July 2021 to August 2021 by 292 (0.5 percent). The unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in August, down from 6.2 percent last August and unchanged from last month.

Comparing Kansas to the nation: Using seasonal data, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 0.09 percent lower than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 0.16 percent higher. Non-seasonal data shows the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 1.91 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 4.35 percent higher.

To learn more about this data and what the employer and household surveys measure, see Visualization: Employment measures. Also, see Counting jobs in Kansas.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

The following chart shows job changes from the previous month, and we can see the loss in June and following gains in June and July. The recent increases in Kansas were smaller than the national increase.

In the following chart of job changes from the same month one year ago, the sharp increase from April 2020 (the low point since the start of the pandemic) to April 2021 is easily seen, as well as the declining pace of change for both Kansas and the nation.

In the following chart of unemployment rates, we see that the rate in Kansas is lower than the national rate during the pandemic, as it had been before the pandemic. The unemployment rate in Kansas is generally declining, but not every month, as it rose 0.2 percentage points in June and 0.1 in July, and was unchanged in August.

In the following chart of monthly changes in the labor force for Kansas and the nation, the Kansas labor force has both grown and shrank since the pandemic.

For industry groups, the following charts show the number of employees in various industries in May 2020 and May 2021.

This chart uses the same data, but shows the percent change from June 2020 to June 2021. These industry groups have lower job counts: Government, Other Services, Education and Health Services, and Construction. All other categories show gains, especially Leisure and Hospitality.

The report for this month from the Kansas Department of Labor is here. The report from BLS may be found here.

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