For the Wichita metropolitan area in July 2021, the number of unemployed persons is down, the unemployment rate is down, and the number of people working is up when compared to the same month one year ago. The recent trend has fewer people working and a rising unemployment rate.
Data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mixed employment situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area for July 2021.
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Total nonfarm employment rose from 279,000 in July 2020 to 283,700 in July 2021, a gain of 4,700 jobs (1.7 percent). (This data is not seasonally adjusted, so month-to-month comparisons are not valid.) For the same period, employment in the nation rose by 5.3 percent. The unemployment rate in July 2021 was 6.2 percent, down from 10.5 percent the same month one year prior.
Considering seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force rose by 40 persons (0.0 percent) in July 2021 from June 2021, the number of unemployed persons rose by 468 (2.9 percent), and the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, up from 5.1 percent in June. The number of employed persons not working on farms fell to 303,172 in July from 303,600 the prior month, a decline of 428 persons (0.1 percent).
To learn more about this data and what the employer and household surveys measure, see Visualization: Employment measures. Also, see Counting jobs in Wichita.
The following chart of the monthly change in the labor force and employment in Wichita shows both gains and declines. The rate of change since March is small as the economy settles into a more stable pattern as Wichita and the nation recover from the pandemic.
Wichita has 5,689 fewer jobs (1.8 percent) than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 36,358 more jobs (13.6 percent) than in April 2020, the first month after the start of the pandemic.
The following chart of changes from the same month one year ago shows Wichita now having more jobs than a year ago for the past three months. Those months were right after the start of the response to the pandemic.
The following chart of changes in employment from the same month of the previous year shows the Wichita MSA has mostly tracked the nation’s trend since the pandemic. Since November 2020, however, the recovery in Wichita has been notably slower than for the nation
The following chart shows the monthly change in nonfarm jobs for Wichita and the nation. Since September 2020, the changes have been relatively small, with both gains and losses. The relatively large increase of 2,600 jobs in March was nearly canceled by the loss in April. There have been both gains and losses since then.
The following two charts show changes in jobs for Wichita and the nation over longer periods. The change is calculated from the same month of the previous year. For times when the Wichita line was above the nation, Wichita was growing faster than the nation. This was often the case during the decades starting in 1990 and 2000. Since 2010, however, Wichita has only occasionally outperformed the nation and sometimes has been far below the nation.
(For data on all metropolitan areas in the nation, see my interactive visualization Metro area employment and unemployment.)
The link to the archived version of the BLS news release for this month may be found here.