Wichita Employment Situation, July 2023


For the Wichita metropolitan area in July 2023, major employment indicators declined slightly from the prior month.

Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a slightly declining, employment situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area for July 2023.

Comparing July 2023 to the same month of the previous year using not seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force was steady, and employment rose. The unemployment rate fell from 3.7 percent to 3.5 percent.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

Of this data, ChatGPT remarked: The Wichita Metropolitan Area saw a stable labor force from June 2022 to July 2023, with minor changes. Unemployment showed volatility, increasing from June 2022 to June 2023 but decreasing in July 2023. Nonfarm employment experienced modest growth over the year. Overall, the area seems to be experiencing slight economic growth, but the fluctuating unemployment rates may warrant closer attention.

Looking at July 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 fell to 3.2 from 3.1 percent. While a falling unemployment rate is usually good, in this case it fell because the labor force fell more than employment.

Of this data, ChatGPT remarked: The Wichita Metropolitan Area saw a slight decline in labor force and nonfarm employment from May to July 2023. The labor force decreased by 0.3%, and nonfarm employment dropped by 0.2% over the three months. Unemployment also decreased, with the number of unemployed persons falling by 3.4% and the unemployment rate dropping from 3.2% to 3.1%. Overall, the area experienced minor contractions in employment metrics.

To learn more about this data and what the employer and household surveys measure, see Visualization: Employment measures. Also, see Counting jobs in Wichita.

Chart 3a, the monthly change in the labor force and employment in Wichita over the past year, shows both gains and losses, with the direction of change on a downward path.

As of July 2023, the Wichita MSA had 1,577 (0.5 percent) more jobs than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 42,370 (15.7 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 2,300 jobs (0.7 percent) since before the start of the pandemic, and a gain of 40,300 (15.2 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 number 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 for the most recent four 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 employment change for Wichita and a select group of peers over a period of more than three years. The metropolitan areas in this chart are near Wichita, or that Wichita business leaders visited on learning expeditions.

Chart 8 shows changes over the month and year.

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.


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