For the Wichita metropolitan area in August 2022, the unemployment rate was unchanged, while the labor force and the number of jobs fell slightly from the previous month.
Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mosty unchanged employment situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area for August 2022.
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Total nonfarm employment rose from 292,600 in August 2021 to 298,900 in August 2022, a gain of 6,300 jobs (2.2 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 3.8 percent. The unemployment rate in August 2022 was 3.5 percent, down from 4.4 percent the same month one year prior.
Considering smoothed seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force fell by 559 persons (0.2 percent) in August 2022 from July 2022, the number of unemployed persons rose by 27 (0.3 percent), and the unemployment rate was 3.0 percent, unchanged from July. The number of employed persons not working on farms fell to 311,943 in August 2022 from 312,529 the prior month, declining by 586 persons (0.2 percent).
See my report for January 2022 for information about recent revisions to 2021 data.
Chart 3a, the monthly change in the labor force and employment in Wichita over the past year, shows mostly gains although July and August showed declines.
As of August 2022, the Wichita MSA had 2,784 more jobs (0.9 percent) than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 44,554 more jobs (16.7 percent) than in April 2020, the first month after the beginning of the pandemic. These figures are from the smoothed seasonally adjusted series. The regular seasonally adjusted data is somewhat different, showing a deficit of 7,700 jobs (2.5 percent) since before the start of the pandemic, and a gain of 35,500 (13.4 percent) after the pandemic.
Chart 3b, showing changes from the same month one year ago, shows Wichita having more jobs than the year before in every month. The labor force has varied up and down when compared to the year before, but has been rising until the past two months, as has employment.
Chart 6a shows changes in employment from the same month of the previous year. The Wichita MSA generally follows the national trend in the sense that each month has greater employment than the same month a year ago. But Wichita’s number is always smaller than the nation’s, meaning the recovery in Wichita is slower. Additionally, the gap between Wichita and the nation is becoming slightly larger.
Charts 4a and 4b 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.