Large County Employment, Fourth Quarter 2023


Employment in large counties, including Sedgwick County and others of interest.

The source of this data is the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency of the United States Department of Labor.

This data covers the 364 largest counties. They comprise about 70 percent of the United States population.

The nearby chart 5b shows employment for a quarter, the change from the previous quarter, and the change from the same quarter one year ago. This example shows data for the fourth quarter of 2023. (The fourth quarter is the months of October, November, and December.) The counties shown in this chart are of particular interest to Wichita and Sedgwick County. Some are nearby, while some are counties holding cities Wichita leaders visited as part of a city-to-city visit program. (Click charts for larger versions.)

For all large counties, employment grew by 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, and rose by 1.5 percent over the year.

Chart 5a is similar to 5b but covers a variable time span. The nearby example holds the same counties as above for starting with the first quarter of 2011. It presents counties in order of percent change over this period.

Two examples of Chart 1b show that over the past year, Sedgwick County has performed well in job creation, but over a longer time period, lags behind its peers.

I asked ChatGPT about the data for this group of counties, starting with first quarter 2021. This table holds data for the same counties that appear in the above charts.

Based on the relative changes in employment percentages from 2021 Q4 onwards, here’s how Sedgwick County compares to the other counties:

  1. Stability: Sedgwick County generally shows smaller relative changes in employment compared to the mean of other counties. This indicates greater stability in its employment figures, suggesting that its job market is less volatile.

  2. Resilience: During periods of decline, Sedgwick County often experiences less severe drops in employment than other counties. For example, from 2021 Q1 to 2020 Q4, Sedgwick County saw a decrease of -1.31%, while other counties saw a larger decrease of -2.21%.

  3. Recovery: Sedgwick County’s recovery periods show more moderate increases or even minor decreases, while other counties tend to have more pronounced fluctuations. This can be seen in periods like 2021 Q1 to 2020 Q4, where Sedgwick County had a marginal increase of 0.08%, compared to a 0.76% increase in other counties.

  4. Relative Performance: Over multiple quarters, Sedgwick County consistently shows less dramatic changes, both positive and negative. This suggests that its employment environment is more stable and less susceptible to sudden changes, whether due to economic downturns or other factors.

In summary, Sedgwick County demonstrates a more stable and resilient employment landscape compared to the average of other counties. Its job market is less volatile and shows steadier performance across the observed quarters. This stability can be advantageous for economic planning and workforce development in the region.

To learn more about this data and use this visualization, click on Visualization: Large County Employment, Establishments, and Wages.


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