For the Wichita metropolitan area in August 2019, the labor force is up, the number of unemployed persons is down, the unemployment rate is down, and the number of people working is up, all by small amounts, when compared to the same month one year ago. Seasonal data shows small increases in labor force and jobs from July.
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Total nonfarm employment rose from 298,400 last August to 300,500 this August. That’s an increase of 2,100 jobs, or 0.7 percent. (This data is not seasonally adjusted, so month-to-month comparisons are not valid.) For the same period, employment in the nation grew by 1.4 percent. The unemployment rate in August 2019 was 3.7 percent, down from 3.78 percent one year ago.
Considering seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force rose by 65 persons (0.0 percent) in August 2019 from August 2019, the number of unemployed persons fell by 109 (1.0 percent), and the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, down from 3.6 percent from July. The number of employed persons not working on farms rose to 299,705 in August from 299,531 the prior month, an increase of 174 persons, or 0.1 percent.
The following chart of the monthly change in labor force and employment shows the rise in employment and labor force after several months of decline for both measures.
The following chart of changes from the same month one year ago shows nine consecutive months of decline in the rate of growth of both employment and labor force. The values are growing, but at a slower pace each month since November.
The following chart of changes in employment from the same month of the previous year shows some months when the Wichita MSA performed better than the nation. Over the past 12 months, the average monthly job growth for the nation was 1.67 percent, and for the Wichita MSA, 1.57 percent.