Kansas employment situation, May 2021

In Kansas for May 2021, the labor force rose, the number of people working fell, and the unemployment rate was unchanged, all compared to the previous month.

Data released this week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mixed employment picture in Kansas for May 2021 when compared to the previous month.

(Click charts and tables for larger versions.)

Using seasonally adjusted data, from April 2021 to May 2021, nonfarm employment in Kansas fell slightly by 1,500 jobs (0.1 percent). Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for May 2021 was higher by 68,300 (5.2 percent) over the same month last year. This is using seasonally adjusted data.

Over the year (May 2020 to May 2021), the Kansas labor force rose by 20,726 people (1.4 percent) using seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, with an increase of 1,140 (0.1 percent) over the last month.

Since last summer, the monthly jobs count has risen and fallen, usually by small amounts, with an increase in March significantly larger than others. There are now 99,200 more jobs in Kansas than in April 2020, which is the low point since the pandemic. There are 58,800 fewer jobs than in February 2020, just before the pandemic.

The number of unemployed persons fell from April 2021 to May 2021 by 67 (0.1 percent). The unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in May, down 5.4 percentage points from last May, and unchanged from last month.

Comparing Kansas to the nation: Using seasonal data, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 5.25 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 8.95 percent higher. Non-seasonal data shows the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 5.25 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 8.97 percent higher.

To learn more about this data and what the employer and household surveys measure, see Visualization: Employment measures. Also, see Counting jobs in Kansas.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

In the following chart showing job changes from the previous month, we can see the larger increase in jobs for March followed by smaller losses in April and May.

In the following chart of job changes from the same month one year ago, the sharp increase from April 2020 (the low point since the pandemic) to April 2021 is easily seen.

In the following chart of unemployment rates, we see that the rate in Kansas is lower than the national rate during the pandemic, as it was before the pandemic. The unemployment rate in Kansas is generally declining, but not every month.

In the following chart of monthly changes in the labor force for Kansas and the nation, the labor force has both grown and shrank since the pandemic.

For industry groups, the following charts show the number of employees in various industries in May 2020 and May 2021.

This chart uses the same data but shows the percent change from May 2020 to May 2021. The Financial Activities and Information categories have lower job counts. All other categories show gains, especially Leisure and Hospitality.

The report for this month from the Kansas Department of Labor is here. The report from BLS may be found here.

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