Kansas employment situation, May 2022


In Kansas for May 2022, the labor force grew, the number of people working fell slightly, and the unemployment rate fell, all compared to the previous month. Over the year, Kansas job growth was worst among the states.

Data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mixed unchanging employment picture in Kansas for May 2022 when compared to the previous month. The unemployment rate fell slightly.

Of special note this month: Considering year-over-year nonfarm job growth, Kansas had the lowest value in the nation.

(Click charts and tables for larger versions.)

Using seasonally adjusted data, from April 2022 to May 2022, nonfarm employment in Kansas fell by 1,100 jobs (0.1 percent). Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for May 2022 was higher by 18,400 (1.3 percent) over the same month last year. This is using seasonally adjusted data.

Over the year (May 2021 to May 2022), the Kansas labor force rose by 7,891 people (0.5 percent) using seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, with an increase of 3,836 (0.3 percent) over the last month.

There are now 121,800 (9.6 percent) more jobs in Kansas than in April 2020, which is the low point since the pandemic’s start. There are 35,600 (2.5 percent) fewer jobs than in February 2020, just before the pandemic. Considering employed people from the household survey, there are now 162,131 (12.4 percent) more working people in Kansas than in April 2020, and 13,596 (0.9 percent) fewer than in February 2020.

The number of unemployed persons fell from April 2022 to May 2022 by 29 persons (0.1 percent). The unemployment rate was 2.3 percent in May 2022, down from 3.4 percent last May and down from 2.4 percent last month.

Comparing Kansas to the nation: Using seasonal data, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 1.34 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 4.51 percent higher. Non-seasonal data shows the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 1.40 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 4.45 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 both positive and negative changes for the past year.

In the following chart of job changes from the same month one year ago, the sharp increase from May 2020 (shortly after the start of the pandemic) to May 2021 is easily seen. Note that the rate for Kansas is always, and usually significantly, below the rate for 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 fairly steady, and the difference between the Kansas unemployment rate and the national rate is becoming smaller.

In the following chart of monthly changes in the labor force for Kansas and the nation, the Kansas labor force has both expanded and contracted since the pandemic. The monthly changes for both are mostly small over the year except for a large increase for the nation in January.

For industry groups, the following charts show the number of employees in various industries in May 2021 and May 2022.

This chart uses the same data but shows the percent change from May 2021 to May 2022. These industry groups have significant gains:

  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Information
  • Construction
  • Other Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Mining and Logging

These groups declined in employment:

  • Financial Activities
  • Education and Health Services
  • Government

As mentioned earlier job growth in Kansas over the year has been lowest in the nation. The following chart shows the monthly and annual change in the number of jobs in the states, along with the rank of the state.

The report for this month from the Kansas Department of Labor is here. The report from BLS may be found here. There has been no news release from Governor Kelly on this topic for this month.


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