For the Wichita metropolitan area in June 2023, major employment indicators were steady or declined slightly from the prior month.
Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mostly unchanged, but slightly declining, employment situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area for June 2023.
Comparing June 2023 to the same month of the previous year using not seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force fell and the employment rose. The unemployment rate rose from 3.1 percent to 3.3 percent.
Click charts and tables for larger versions.
Looking at June 2023 and the previous two months using smoothed seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force fell slightly, as did the number of employed people. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.2 percent.
Chart 3a, the monthly change in the labor force and employment in Wichita over the past year, shows both gains and losses, with March, April, and May showing gains after months of declines in employment and labor force, but both falling in June. The increases for March were especially large.
As of June 2023, the Wichita MSA had 2,043 (0.7 percent) more jobs than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 42,836 (15.9 percent) more jobs 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 loss of 3,800 jobs (1.2 percent) since before the start of the pandemic, and a gain of 38,800 (14.6 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.
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 for the most recent three months, Wichita’s number is smaller than the nation’s, meaning the recovery in Wichita has been slower.
Chart 8 shows the unemployment rate for Wichita and the nation. The rate for Wichita is almost always lower.
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.
Employer and Household Surveys
Both employer and household surveys have their strengths and weaknesses, and their reliability can depend on what specifically you are trying to measure. Here’s a quick comparison:
Employer Surveys (Establishment Surveys)
- More precise for measuring the number of jobs, as they count each job, even if one person holds more than one.
- Often have larger sample sizes and are considered more accurate for sector-specific employment data.
- Less subject to underreporting or misclassification of jobs.
- Do not count the self-employed, unpaid family workers, or agricultural workers.
- Cannot provide data on demographic characteristics of the labor force (e.g., age, gender).
- May miss rapidly changing employment situations, like new startups or closures.
- Count all types of employment, including self-employment, unpaid family work, and agricultural employment.
- Provide demographic information, such as age, gender, and educational attainment.
- Can capture more nuanced labor market conditions, like underemployment.
- Smaller sample sizes may lead to higher statistical error.
- Subject to respondent errors, such as misunderstanding questions or providing inaccurate information.
- Counts workers, not jobs, so if one person has multiple jobs, it still counts as one employed person.
- Employer Surveys: Generally considered more reliable for measuring the number of jobs in specific industries and for capturing wage data.
- Household Surveys: More reliable for capturing labor force participation rates, unemployment rates, and demographic information.
In summary, the choice between employer and household surveys depends on what you’re interested in studying. For a comprehensive understanding of employment conditions, it’s often best to consider both types of data.