For the Wichita metropolitan area in August 2023, major employment indicators were unchanged from the prior month.
Table 1: Comparing August 2023 to the same month of the previous year using not seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force rose, as did employment. The unemployment rate rose from 3.5 percent to 3.6 percent.
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The labor force has seen a marginal increase over the year, indicating a stable workforce in the Wichita Metropolitan Area.
The decrease in unemployed persons and the unemployment rate from July 2022 to July 2023 suggests an improvement in employment conditions. However, the increase in unemployed persons and the unemployment rate from August 2022 to August 2023 indicates a slight deterioration in employment conditions in that month, which might be due to seasonal variations or other economic factors.
The consistent increase in nonfarm employment over the months indicates growth in job opportunities in sectors other than agriculture, which is a positive sign for the area’s economy.
This data provides a snapshot of the employment situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Area, reflecting both improvements and slight deteriorations in different aspects of the employment landscape.
Table 2: Looking at August 2023 and the previous two months using smoothed seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force did not significantly change, as did the number of employed people. The unemployment rate remained 3.1 percent.
The labor force experienced a slight contraction from June to July 2023 but remained relatively stable from July to August 2023, indicating a stable workforce in the Wichita Metropolitan Area.
The decrease in unemployed persons and the unemployment rate from June to July 2023 suggests improved employment conditions. However, a slight increase in unemployed persons from July to August 2023 indicates minor fluctuations in employment conditions.
The reduction in nonfarm employment over the months suggests a contraction in job opportunities in sectors other than agriculture, which may warrant attention to understand the underlying causes.
Overall, the employment situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Area during these three months seems stable, with minor fluctuations in unemployment and nonfarm employment.
This data provides a nuanced view of the employment landscape in the Wichita Metropolitan Area, reflecting stability with slight variations in different employment metrics.
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 since March, except for the last month.
As of August 2023, the Wichita MSA had 1,568 (0.5 percent) more jobs than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 42,379 (15.7 percent) more jobs than in April 2020, the first month after the beginning of the pandemic (table 3a). These figures are from the smoothed seasonally adjusted series. The regular seasonally adjusted data is somewhat different, showing a loss of 400 jobs (0.1 percent) since before the start of the pandemic, and a gain of 42,200 (15.9 percent) after the pandemic (table 3b).
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 followed the national trend in the sense that each month has greater employment than the same month a year ago. But for the most recent five 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 nearly 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.