Wichita Employment Situation, January 2024


For the Wichita metropolitan area in January 2024, most employment indicators declined slightly from the prior month, and the unemployment rate did not change. Wichita continues to perform poorly compared to its peers.

Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a declining employment situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area for January 2024.

Table 1: Comparing January 2024 to the same month of the previous year using not seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force fell, and nonfarm employment rose. The unemployment rate remained at 3.2 percent.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

I asked ChatGPT about this table:

The table presents employment data for the Wichita Metropolitan Area, focusing on the changes between January 2023 and January 2024. Here’s what the data tells us for January:

  • The Labor Force, which includes everyone who is either working or actively looking for work, decreased slightly by 502 people, a 0.2% drop from January 2023 to January 2024. This suggests a very small number of people left the labor force, but the change is not significant.

  • The number of Unemployed Persons, those who are actively looking for work but not working, also saw a small decrease of 38 people, which is a 0.4% decline. This indicates that a few people who were unemployed have either found work or stopped looking for work.

  • The Unemployment Rate remained stable at 3.2% from January 2023 to January 2024. This means that the proportion of the labor force that is unemployed has not changed.

  • Nonfarm Employment, which refers to jobs excluding farm workers, private household employees, and non-profit organization employees, increased by 3,300, a growth of 1.1%. This is a positive sign that more people are employed in various industries in the region.

Overall, the Wichita job market remained quite stable from January 2023 to January 2024, with a very slight reduction in the labor force and unemployed persons, no change in the unemployment rate, and a modest increase in nonfarm employment.

Table 2: Looking at January 2024 and the previous two months using smoothed seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force fell and the number of employed people fell. The unemployment rate was unchanged.

I asked ChatGPT about this table:

Looking at the January 2024 data for the Wichita Metropolitan Area Employment:

  • The Labor Force decreased marginally by 174 individuals from December 2023 to January 2024, a slight change of 0.1%. This means that there were fewer people working or looking for work in January compared to December.

  • The number of Unemployed Persons also went down by 67, which is a 0.7% decrease from December 2023. This indicates a small improvement where fewer people were without jobs and looking for work.

  • The Unemployment Rate stayed the same at 3.1% from December 2023 to January 2024, suggesting that the share of people out of work in the labor force did not change in that month.

  • Nonfarm Employment numbers went down by 107 jobs, which is statistically rounded to a 0.0% change, essentially remaining stable. This category reflects the number of people working in jobs that are not related to farming and did not see a significant change.

In summary, for January 2024, the employment situation in Wichita showed slight reductions in the labor force and the number of unemployed persons, with the unemployment rate remaining unchanged and nonfarm employment figures staying nearly the same. The changes are minimal, indicating a stable employment situation over the month.

To learn more about this data and what the employer and household surveys measure, see Visualization: Employment measures. Also, see Counting jobs in Wichita.

Chart 3a, the monthly change in the labor force and employment in Wichita, shows both gains and losses, with the direction of change on a primarily downward path over the past year.

As of January 2024, the Wichita MSA had 477 (0.2 percent) fewer jobs than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 40,316 (15.0 percent) more jobs than in April 2020, the first month after the beginning of the pandemic. These figures are from the smoothed seasonally adjusted series. The regular seasonally adjusted data is somewhat different, showing a gain of 5,500 jobs (1.8 percent) since before the start of the pandemic, and a gain of 48,800 (18.4 percent) after the pandemic.

Chart 3b, showing changes in labor force and employment from the same month one year ago, shows Wichita having more jobs than the year before in nearly every month, although the number has become smaller and has been negative for the last three months.

Chart 6a shows changes in employment from the same month of the previous year for Wichita and the nation. The two trendlines are very close.

Chart 8 shows the unemployment rate for Wichita and the nation. The rate for Wichita is almost always lower by small amounts.

Chart 7 shows employment change for Wichita and a select group of peers over a period of four years. The metropolitan areas in this chart are near Wichita or that Wichita business leaders visited on learning expeditions. The number of jobs in Wichita is practically unchanged. It is also below most of these peers.

Chart 8 shows changes over the month and year. In this measure, like the previous, Wichita is below nearly all of its peers.

Charts 4a and 4b show changes in jobs for Wichita and the nation over longer periods. The change is calculated from the same month of the previous year. For times when the Wichita line was above the nation, Wichita was growing faster than the nation. This was often the case during the decades starting in 1990 and 2000. Since 2010, however, Wichita has only occasionally outperformed the nation and sometimes has been far below the nation.

(For data on all metropolitan areas in the nation, see my interactive visualization Metro area employment and unemployment.)

The link to the archived version of the BLS news release for this month may be found here.


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