Recent figures show that while the unemployment rate in Kansas is unchanged at 6.8 percent (seasonally adjusted), the good news is that the number of people in the labor force and the number of people working is rising.
While we often focus on the unemployment rate, it is just one part of the picture. The other is the size of the labor force, which is defined as those who are working plus those who are looking for work. If the labor force is increasing in size and the unemployment rate is steady, it means that the number of people working is rising. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,402,992 people were working in Kansas on March 1, 2011 (seasonally adjusted). The same statistic from one year ago was 1,397,819.
The chart below shows the Kansas labor force in blue, measured against the left scale. The unemployment rate is in red, measured against the right scale.