How has Wichita fared since the start of the pandemic compared to other metropolitan areas?
(These examples are taken from my interactive visualization which holds data on all metropolitan areas in the nation. See Metro area employment and unemployment. It is updated through April 2022.)
The nearby charts show Wichita along with all metropolitan areas. Each chart displays three variables:
- The change in employment since the first date shown.
- The change in labor force since the first date shown.
- The unemployment rate.
The first chart starts with February 2020, just before the start of the pandemic. Wichita compares well. The next is the same, but starting in April 2021, one year ago. Now, for change in employment and labor force, Wichita lags the nation, and the gap is getting larger. Wichita’s unemployment rate is lower than the national rate, however.
Next, chart 7 shows the average monthly change in employment for a selected time frame. It presents the value as the difference from the value for all metropolitan areas, and it shows the rank among all metros, not just the ones that are displayed. In this example from the visualization, I present data for the Wichita metropolitan area and some others. Some are nearby metros, and some, like Pittsburgh, Greenville, and Chattanooga, are metros that Wichita leaders have visited in learning expeditions.
The example below starts with 2010. Wichita appears low on the list. Its negative value does not mean that the number of jobs has fallen, but that rate of growth is lower than that for all metropolitan areas.
As always, you may use the interactive visualization to create your own charts and tables. The link is above.