For the Wichita metropolitan area in October 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 when compared to the same month one year ago. Seasonal data shows small increases in labor force and jobs from September.
Data released yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a slowly improving employment situation for the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Click charts and tables for larger versions.
Total nonfarm employment rose from 301,800 last October to 304,600 this October. That’s an increase of 2,800 jobs, or 0.9 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 September 2019 was 3.1 percent, down from 3.3 percent one year ago.
Considering seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force rose by 447 persons (0.1 percent) in October 2019 from September 2019, the number of unemployed persons fell by 92 (0.9 percent), and the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent, down from 3.5 percent in September. The number of employed persons not working on farms rose to 300,758 in October from 300,219 the prior month, an increase of 539 persons, or 0.2 percent.
The following chart of the monthly change in labor force and employment shows the rise in employment and labor force over the last two months.
The following chart of changes from the same month one year ago a decline in the rate of growth of both employment and labor force. The values are (almost all) growing, but at a slower pace each month until this month and last.
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 1.40 percent, and for the Wichita MSA, 0.93 percent.
The following two charts show changes in jobs for Wichita and the nation over longer time periods. The change is calculated from the same month one year ago. 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 rarely outperformed the nation and sometimes has been far below the nation.