Kansas Employment Situation, February 2024


In Kansas in February 2024, the labor force fell, the number of jobs rose, and the unemployment rate rose compared to the previous month. Over the year, Kansas is lower than most states in job growth.

Data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mixed employment picture in Kansas for February 2024 when compared to the previous month.

(Click charts and tables for larger versions.)

Using seasonally adjusted data, from January 2024 to February 2024, nonfarm employment in Kansas rose by 3,600 jobs (0.2 percent). Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for February 2024 was higher by 13,000 (0.3 percent) over the same month last year. This is using seasonally adjusted data.

Over the year (February 2023 to February 2024), the Kansas labor force fell by 6,528 people (0.4 percent) using seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, with a decline of 997 (0.1 percent) over the last month.

When ChatGPT looked at this table, it concluded:

The table shows employment data for Kansas, adjusted for seasonal variations, and focuses on changes over different periods, ending in February 2024.

For February 2024, the labor force (the total number of people either working or actively looking for work) slightly decreased from January 2024, by 997 people, marking a 0.1% drop. This continues a small downward trend from December 2023 to February 2024, totaling a 0.4% decrease.

The number of unemployed persons, those without a job but seeking work, increased by 894 people in February 2024, which is a 2.3% rise from January 2024. However, over the three months from December, the total number of unemployed people has decreased by 5.3%.

The unemployment rate, which is the percentage of the labor force that is unemployed, ticked up slightly to 2.7% in February 2024 from 2.6% in January. This small increase (0.1%) reverses the stable rate observed from December to January.

Nonfarm employment, which counts jobs excluding farm workers, the self-employed, and some other groups, went up by 3,600 jobs (0.2%) from January to February 2024. Over the three-month period, there’s been an increase of 13,000 jobs, which is a 0.9% rise, suggesting overall job growth in this sector.

In summary, while there was a very slight decrease in the labor force and a small uptick in the unemployment rate in February 2024, nonfarm employment has grown, indicating that more jobs are available in industries other than farming.

There are now 181,400 (14.3 percent) more jobs in Kansas than in April 2020, which is the low point since the pandemic’s start. There are 22,600 (1.6 percent) more jobs than in February 2020, just before the pandemic. These are counts of nonfarm jobs with employers in Kansas, without regard to the residence of the employee.

Considering employed people from the household survey, there are now 158,023 (12.1 percent) more working people in Kansas than in April 2020, and 6,143 (0.4 percent) more than in February 2020. The household survey counts Kansas residents with nonfarm jobs, without regard to the location of the job.

Comparing Kansas to the nation: Using seasonal data, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 0.90 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 1.77 percent higher. Non-seasonal data shows the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 1.01 percent higher than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 1.78 percent higher.

When ChatGPT examined this table of not seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, it concluded:

This table provides non-seasonally adjusted employment data for Kansas, with a particular focus on February 2024. Non-seasonally adjusted data are raw figures that do not account for seasonal patterns of employment.

In February 2024:
– The labor force, the total number of people working or looking for work, decreased slightly by 7,979 people compared to February 2023, representing a 0.5% drop.
– The number of unemployed persons increased by 1,264 from the previous year, which is a 2.7% rise. This means more people were without jobs and searching for work compared to the same time last year.
– The unemployment rate, the proportion of the labor force that is jobless, rose slightly from February 2023 to February 2024, increasing by 0.1 percentage points to 3.2%. This indicates a slight increase in the rate of unemployment year-over-year.
– Nonfarm employment, which excludes farm workers, increased by 14,500 jobs, a 1.0% gain from February 2023 to February 2024. This suggests that there was job growth in sectors outside of agriculture over the year.

In plain language, while there are fewer people in the workforce and slightly more unemployment compared to last year, there has been a modest growth in job opportunities in the nonfarm sectors in Kansas.

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.

Chart 1a shows job changes for Kansas and the nation from the previous month, and we can see both positive and changes for Kansas over the past year. The trend in recent months is down. However, by February 2024, both Kansas and the national average ended on a positive note, indicating an increase in employment from the previous month.

Chart 1b shows job changes for Kansas and the nation from the same month one year ago. Growth in Kansas has been similar to the nation except for the last seven months, when the growth rate for Kansas has been less than the nation.

In Chart 3, showing unemployment rates for Kansas and the nation, we see that the rate in Kansas is lower than the national rate, as it had been before the pandemic. The unemployment rate in Kansas is little changed over the last year.

Chart 2a shows monthly changes in the labor force for Kansas and the nation. The Kansas labor force has both expanded and contracted since the pandemic, as has the national labor force.

For industry groups, chart 6b shows the number of employees in various industries in January 2023 and January 2024.

Chart 6a uses the same data but shows the percent change for the same period. When I asked ChatGPT about this data, it provided this analysis:

In February 2024, comparing job numbers by industry to the previous year in Kansas, here are the industries that grew and those that declined based on percentage change:

Industries that grew:
Education and Health Services had the most significant growth, with a 4.06% increase.
Construction grew by 2.51%.
Government increased by 1.70%.
Leisure and Hospitality rose by 1.66%.
Financial Activities saw an increase of 0.92%.
Total Nonfarm employment went up by 0.90%.
Total Private sector jobs increased by 0.73%.
Other Services experienced a growth of 0.57%.
Information had a slight increase of 0.55%.

Industries that declined:
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities saw a slight decline of 0.36%.
Manufacturing decreased by 0.40%.
Professional and Business Services dropped by 1.45%.
Mining and Logging experienced the largest decline, with a decrease of 4.69%.

These figures represent the year-over-year percentage change in employment for various industries in Kansas for February 2024, showing which sectors are expanding and which are contracting.

Kansas ranks thirty-seventh among the states and the District of Columbia in job growth over the past year, and fourteenth for growth over the past month. The following chart shows the monthly and annual change in the number of jobs in the states and DC, along with the rank.

Chart 8 shows job change state ranks over time. In this example, Kansas is highlighted.

The report for this month from the Kansas Department of Labor is here. The report from BLS may be found here. It appears there are no news releases or social media posts from Governor Kelly on this topic.


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