In Kansas for December 2020, the labor force shrank while the number of people working rose, resulting in a drop in the unemployment rate.
Data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mixed employment picture in Kansas for December 2020.
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Using seasonally adjusted data, from November 2020 to December 2020, nonfarm employment in Kansas rose by 2,300 jobs (0.2 percent). Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for December 2020 was lower by 60,200 (4.2 percent) over the same month last year. This is using seasonally adjusted data. The non-adjusted figure is 59,100 fewer jobs (4.1 percent).
Over the year (December 2019 to December 2020), the Kansas labor force rose by 15,249 people (1.0 percent) using seasonally adjusted data, with a fall of 17,626 (1.2 percent) over the last month. Non-seasonal data shows a rise of 9,521 (0.6 percent) in the labor force over the year.
The Kansas economy had been adding jobs each month since May, but there was a decline in September. The rise in October overcame September’s loss, but jobs were lost in November, only to rise in December. There are now almost exactly the same number of jobs in Kansas as in August. The national economy lost a small number of jobs in December. Kansas has 66,500 fewer nonfarm jobs in December than in February, the last month not affected by the response to the pandemic.
The number of unemployed persons fell from November 2020 to December 2020 by 20,462 (26.2 percent). The unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in December, up 0.7 percentage points from one year ago, and down 1.3 percentage points from last month.
While the unemployment rate fell for December, the primary cause was the large drop in the labor force.
Comparing Kansas to the nation: Using seasonal data, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 6.17 percent lower than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 6.05 percent lower. Non-seasonal data shows the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs is 4.10 percent lower than 12 months ago, while nationally, the same statistic is 5.98 percent lower.
*Click charts and tables for larger versions.*
In the following chart showing job changes from the previous month, the magnitude of the changes in April through August overwhelms the other months. Since then, changes have been smaller, and both rising and falling.
In the following chart of job levels from the same month one year ago, the recent monthly figures show the recovery slowing for both Kansas and the nation.
In the following chart of unemployment rates, we see that the rate in Kansas is lower than the national rate, both before and after the pandemic.
In the following chart of changes in the labor force for Kansas and the nation, the labor force has both grown and shrank since the pandemic.