For the Wichita metropolitan area in February 2023, the major employment indicators changed little from the prior 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 February 2023.
Click charts and tables for larger versions.
Total nonfarm employment rose from 298,200 in February 2022 to 307,000 in February 2023, a gain of 8,800 jobs (3.0 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 2.9 percent. The unemployment rate in February 2023 was 3.4 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from the same month one year prior.
Considering smoothed seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force rose by 224 persons (0.1 percent) in February 2023 from January 2023, the number of unemployed persons rose by 93 (0.9 percent), and the unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, unchanged from January. The number of employed persons not working on farms rose to 310,513 in February 2023 from 310,382 the prior month, rising by 131 persons (0.0 percent).
Chart 3a, the monthly change in the labor force and employment in Wichita over the past year, shows both gains and losses, with February showing gains after months of declines in employment and labor force.
As of February 2023, the Wichita MSA had 1,354 more jobs (0.4 percent) than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 43,124 more jobs (16.1 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 gain of 1,300 jobs (0.4 percent) since before the start of the pandemic, and a gain of 43,900 (16.5 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, although the difference is becoming smaller.
Chart 6a shows changes in employment from the same month of the previous year for Wichita and the nation. The Wichita MSA loosely follows the national trend in the sense that each month has greater employment than the same month a year ago. But until the most recent five months, Wichita’s number has usually smaller than the nation’s, meaning the recovery in Wichita has been slower. Now Wichita and the nation are growing employment at roughly the same rate.
Chart 8 shows the unemployment rate for Wichita and the nation.
Chart 7 shows the annual employment change for Wichita and a select group of peers. The metros in this chart are near Wichita, or that Wichita business leaders visited on learning expeditions.
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. In recent months Wichita has performed similarly to 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.