Kansas employment situation, September 2021

In Kansas for September 2021, the labor force fell slightly, the number of people working rose slightly, and the unemployment rate also rose, 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 September 2021 when compared to the previous month. The unemployment rate rose by one-tenth of a percentage point, and other measures showed only small changes..

(Click charts and tables for larger versions.)

Using seasonally adjusted data, from August 2021 to September 2021, nonfarm employment in Kansas rose by 1,900 jobs (0.1 percent). Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for September 2021 was higher by 32,200 (2.4 percent) over the same month last year. This is using seasonally adjusted data.

Over the year (September 2020 to September 2021), the Kansas labor force rose by 42,410 people (2.9 percent) using seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, with a decline of 447 (0.0 percent) over the last month.

Since last summer, the monthly jobs count has risen and fallen, usually by small amounts, with September showing the smallest increase in four months. There are now 116,200 (9.1 percent) more jobs in Kansas than in April 2020, which is the low point since the pandemic’s start. There are 41,800 (2.9 percent) fewer jobs than in February 2020, just before the pandemic.

The number of unemployed persons rose from August 2021 to September 2021 by 1,087 persons (1.9 percent). The unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in September, down from 6.1 percent last September and up from 3.8 percent last month.

Comparing Kansas to the nation: Using seasonal data, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 2.38 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 4.01 percent higher. Non-seasonal data shows the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 2.70 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 4.04 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 positive changes for the last four months, although the change is becoming smaller. The recent increases in Kansas were mostlt 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 generally 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 rose again by 0.1 percent in September.

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, and the monthly changes for both are small.

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

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

A new chart for this month shows trends in employment as the difference between each state and the nation. Note that a relatively flat line, such as for Minnesota, does not mean that employment is stagnating. Instead, it means that Minnesota’s change in employment closely tracks the national change.

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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