Wichita Employment Situation, September 2023


For the Wichita metropolitan area in September 2023, major employment indicators were little changed from the prior month.

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

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 nonfarm employment. The unemployment rate rose from 2.8 percent to 3.1 percent.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

I asked ChatGPT about this table:

The table provides information on employment in the Wichita Metropolitan Area for September 2022 and September 2023.

Summary of the Data for September:

  1. Labor Force: The number of people available for work increased slightly from 319,907 in 2022 to 321,583 in 2023, growing by 1,676 people or 0.5%.

  2. Unemployed Persons: The number of people looking for work increased from 9,093 in 2022 to 9,810 in 2023, a rise of 717 people or 7.9%.

  3. Unemployment Rate: The percentage of the labor force that was unemployed increased from 2.8% in 2022 to 3.1% in 2023, a relative increase of 10.7%.

  4. Nonfarm Employment: The number of jobs in sectors other than farming increased from 306,000 in 2022 to 307,100 in 2023, an addition of 1,100 jobs or a 0.4% increase.


  • While there was a slight growth in both the labor force and nonfarm employment, indicating more people were entering the workforce and more jobs were available, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate increased at a higher rate.
  • This suggests that the job market might have become slightly more competitive in September 2023 compared to September 2022, with more people looking for jobs than the number of jobs available.

Table 2: Looking at September 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.

I asked ChatGPT about this table:

The table presents employment data for the Wichita Metropolitan Area over three months: July, August, and September 2023. Here’s a simple description and analysis of the data:

– Labor Force: The number of people eligible to work remained nearly the same, slightly decreasing from 321,755 in July to 321,706 in August, and then slightly increasing to 321,904 in September.
– Unemployed Persons: The number of unemployed people increased from 9,850 in July to 9,997 in September.
– Unemployment Rate: The unemployment rate remained constant at 3.1% over the three months.
– Nonfarm Employment: The number of people employed in sectors other than agriculture showed a small decrease from 311,905 in July to 311,810 in August, and then a small increase to 311,907 in September.

– The Labor Force and Nonfarm Employment figures remained almost stable, indicating that the overall employment scenario didn’t change much.
– The slight increase in Unemployed Persons suggests that there were more people looking for jobs, but this didn’t impact the Unemployment Rate, which stayed the same.
– Overall, the employment situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Area remained relatively steady over these three months.

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 since March, except for the last two months.

As of September 2023, the Wichita MSA had 1,606 (0.5 percent) more jobs than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 42,399 (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 1,300 jobs (0.4 percent) since before the start of the pandemic, and a gain of 41,300 (15.6 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, 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 growth of jobs 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 four 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.

(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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