Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition

Wichita employment trends

Wichita employment trends

While the unemployment rate in the Wichita metropolitan area has been declining, the numbers behind the decline are not encouraging. The unemployment rate, a widely-cited measure of the health of an economy, is not an absolute measure. Instead, it is a ratio, specifically the ratio of the number of unemployed people to the number of people in the labor force. (The labor force, broadly, is the number of persons working plus those actively looking for work. [1. The labor force, specifically the civilian labor force, are those people working, plus those people actively searching for work, minus people under 16…
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Wichita MSA employment series

Wichita MSA employment series

Charts of employment in the Wichita metro area, along with Kansas and the United States. Since 1990 the country has experienced three recessions. For the first two, Wichita was able to catch up with the employment growth experienced by the entire nation. For the most recent recession, however, this hasn’t been the case. In fact, as time has progressed since 2010, the gap between Wichita and the nation has grown. Wichita is falling farther behind. You can also see evidence of this in the chart of one-year and five-year changes in employment. The peaks for the five-year series have become…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: John Todd and Wichita issues

WichitaLiberty.TV: John Todd and Wichita issues

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: John Todd joins Bob Weeks and Karl Peterjohn to discuss issues involving the City of Wichita, including the future of Naftzger Park and economic development. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 157, broadcast July 9, 2017. Shownotes Wichita Pachyderm Club on Facebook Article link: An information resource regarding the future of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita Article link: Downtown Wichita business trends: There has been much investment in Downtown Wichita, both public and private. What has been the trend in business activity during this time? Article link: Downtown Wichita jobs, sort…
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Wichita post-recession job growth

Wichita post-recession job growth

Wichita has recovered from recessions, but after the most recent, the city is falling further behind. Since 1990 the country has experienced three recessions. For the first two of these, Wichita was able to catch up with the employment growth experienced by the entire nation. For the most recent recession, however, this hasn't been the case. In fact, as time progressed since 2010, the gap between Wichita and the nation has grown. Following are three charts of private sector employment for the Wichita metro area and the nation. Each is indexed starting with the end of a recession so that…
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During Sunshine Week, here are a few things Wichita could do

During Sunshine Week, here are a few things Wichita could do

The City of Wichita says it values open and transparent government, but the city lags far behind in providing information and records to citizens. The City of Wichita is proud to be an open and transparent governmental agency, its officials say. Former Mayor Carl Brewer often spoke in favor of government transparency. For example, in his State of the City address for 2011, he listed as an important goal for the city this: "And we must provide transparency in all that we do." When the city received an award for transparency in 2013, a city news release quoted Wichita City…
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Greater Wichita Partnership

Greater Wichita Partnership

Greater Wichita Partnership features untruthful information on its website, which casts doubt on the reliability of the organization and the City of Wichita. Greater Wichita Partnership uses the url of its predecessor, the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, or GWEDC. GWP is in charge of efforts to develop the economy in the greater Wichita area. It describes itself as "a driving force in building a remarkable city and region."[1. Greater Wichita Partnership. About us. http://www.gwedc.org/about_us/about_us.] But there is a problem. Based on the information GWP makes available on the front page of its website, I don't have much confidence in…
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What else can Wichita do for downtown companies?

What else can Wichita do for downtown companies?

With all Wichita has done, it may not be enough. Within a month, these two headlines appeared in the opinion pages of the Wichita Eagle: Investment in downtown Wichita is impressive [1. Brownlee, Phillip. Investment in downtown Wichita is impressive. Wichita Eagle. March 5, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/opinion/editorials/article64129977.html.] State and local leaders need to help meet Cargill’s needs [2. Holman, Rhonda. State and local leaders need to help meet Cargill’s needs. Wichita Eagle. April 1, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/now-consider-this/article69534982.html.] The second headline was in response to the news story "Cargill plans to move its Wichita headquarters -- but where?" [3.…
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Brookings Metro Monitor and Wichita

Brookings Metro Monitor and Wichita

A research project by The Brookings Institution illustrates the poor performance of the Wichita-area economy. Metro Monitor from The Brookings Institution rates metropolitan areas on a number of indicators. On the map of metropolitan areas, blue means faster growth, and orange means slowest. You can see that Wichita has the economic growth of a typical rust belt city. (Click charts for larger versions.) The table showing changes in indicators over the past decade shows Wichita almost always below the middle. The charts of trends over time shows Wichita falling behind the nation, then catching up in 2007 and 2008, but…
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In Wichita, open records relief may be on the way

In Wichita, open records relief may be on the way

A new law in Kansas may provide opportunities for better enforcement of the Kansas Open Records Act. This year the Kansas Legislature passed HB 2256, captioned as "An act concerning public bodies or agencies; relating to the state of Kansas and local units of government; providing certain powers to the attorney general for investigation of violations of the open records act and the open meetings act; attorney general’s open government fund ..." The good part of this law is that it provides additional enforcement options when citizens feel that government agencies are not complying with the Kansas Open Records Law.…
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