Kansas employment situation, January 2022

In Kansas for January 2022, the labor force grew slightly, the number of people working rose, and the unemployment rate fell, all compared to the previous month.

Data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows an improving employment picture in Kansas for January 2022 when compared to the previous month. The unemployment rate fell, and other measures showed small changes.

(Click charts and tables for larger versions.)

Using seasonally adjusted data, from December 2021 to January 2022, nonfarm employment in Kansas rose by 8,500 jobs (0.6 percent). Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for January 2022 was higher by 17,100 (1.3 percent) over the same month last year. This is using seasonally adjusted data.

Over the year (January 2021 to January 2022), the Kansas labor force rose by 2,391 people (0.2 percent) using seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, with an increase of 410 (0.0 percent) over the last month.

Since summer, the monthly jobs count change has been both positive and negative. There are now 111,500 8.86 percent) more jobs in Kansas than in April 2020, which is the low point since the pandemic’s start. There are 45,900 (3.2 percent) fewer jobs than in February 2020, just before the pandemic.

The number of unemployed persons fell from December 2021 to January 2022 by 2,269 persons (5.5 percent). The unemployment rate was 2.6 percent in January, down from 3.8 percent last January and down from 2.8 percent last month.

Comparing Kansas to the nation: Using seasonal data, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 1.25 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 4.69 percent higher. Non-seasonal data shows the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 1.40 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 4.64 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.

While the Kansas unemployment rate fell and is among the lowest in the nation, it is essential to remember it is a ratio between two numbers: the labor force (the number of people working plus those actively seeking employment) and the number of unemployed people. It is a good sign when the unemployment rate falls because more people are working. That is the case for Kansas in January. Employment is growing, but not as fast as national employment.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

With this data, BLS has performed a major revision and adjustment of past data and has incorporated some new models. Sometimes the revisions and adjustments are substantial. A nearby chart shows the number of jobs in Kansas as reported in January along with the revisions reported in March. As you can see, the revised numbers for recent months are are lower than originally repoted.

The following chart shows job changes from the previous month, and we can see both positive and negative changes for the last seven months.

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 start of the pandemic) to April 2021 is easily seen. The generally declining pace of change for both Kansas and the nation is evident.

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 had been before the pandemic. The unemployment rate in Kansas is fairly steady, and the difference between the Kansas unemployment rate and the national rate is becoming smaller.

In the following chart of monthly changes in the labor force for Kansas and the nation, the Kansas labor force has both grown and shrank since the pandemic. The monthly changes for both are small over the year except for a large increase for the nation in January.

For industry groups, the following charts show the number of employees in various industries in January 2021 and January 2022

This chart uses the same data but shows the percent change from January 2021 to January 2022. These industry groups have significant gains:

  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Information
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction

These groups declined in employment:

  • Financial Activities
  • Education and Health Services

A new chart shows trends in employment as the difference between each state and the nation. Note that a relatively flat line close to zero in value, such as for Minnesota, does not mean that the state’s employment is stagnating. Instead, it means that Minnesota’s change in employment closely tracks the national change.

A second version starts in 2015.

This chart starts with January 2020, just before the pandemic.

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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