For the Wichita metropolitan area in September 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 mostly unchanged employment situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area for September 2022.
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Total nonfarm employment rose from 294,300 in September 2021 to 299,600 in September 2022, a gain of 5,300 jobs (1.8 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 3.7 percent. The unemployment rate in September 2022 was 2.9 percent, down from 3.5 percent the same month one year prior.
Considering smoothed seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force fell by 169 persons (0.1 percent) in September 2022 from August 2022, the number of unemployed persons rose by 30 (0.3 percent), and the unemployment rate was 3.0 percent, unchanged from August. The number of employed persons not working on farms fell to 311,819 in September 2022 from 312,018 the prior month, declining by 199 persons (0.1 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 the last three months showed declines.
As of September 2022, the Wichita MSA had 2,660 more jobs (0.9 percent) than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 44,430 more jobs (16.6 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 9,400 jobs (3.0 percent) since before the start of the pandemic, and a gain of 33,800 (12.7 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 three 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.
Chart 8 shows the unemployment rate for Wichita and the nation.
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.