Wichita Employment Situation, March 2024


For the Wichita metropolitan area in March 2024, most employment indicators changed only slightly from the prior month. 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 mostly unchanged situation in the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area for March 2024.

Table 1: Comparing March 2024 to the same month of the previous year using not seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force was stable, and nonfarm employment rose. The unemployment rate rose to 3.3 percent.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

I asked ChatGPT about this table:

Labor Force:
– The total number of people either working or looking for work remained nearly unchanged from March 2023 to March 2024, increasing slightly by 34 people.

Unemployed Persons:
– The number of people without jobs but looking for work rose from 9,975 in March 2023 to 10,613 in March 2024, an increase of 638 people or 6.4%. This increase is notable as it suggests more people were seeking work but couldn’t find it.

Unemployment Rate:
– The unemployment rate slightly increased from 3.1% in March 2023 to 3.3% in March 2024, up by 0.2 percentage points. This means a slightly higher proportion of the labor force was unemployed in March 2024 compared to the previous year.

Nonfarm Employment:
– This category, which represents jobs outside of farming, saw an increase of 5,700 jobs, or 1.8%, from March 2023 to March 2024. This growth indicates that more jobs were available in sectors other than farming.

Overall, while there was a slight increase in the number of jobs in Wichita, the number of unemployed persons also rose, indicating that the job growth wasn’t enough to absorb all the people looking for work. This could suggest that while the economy might be generating jobs, there are still many seeking employment who have yet to find it.

Table 2: Looking at March 2024 and the previous two months using smoothed seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force was steady and the number of employed people fell slightly. The unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percent to 3.0 percent.

I asked ChatGPT about this table:

Table Analysis: Wichita Metropolitan Area Employment for March 2024

  • The labor force in March 2024 was nearly static, increasing by only 9 to total 322,695, indicating a stable size of the labor force eligible and seeking employment.
  • Unemployed persons increased by 235 to 9,716 from February to March, resulting in the unemployment rate rising slightly from 2.9% to 3.0%. This shows a growing number of individuals unable to find employment despite being available and willing to work.
  • Nonfarm employment decreased by 226 in March, bringing the total to 312,979. This drop reflects a slight decrease in job opportunities in the area’s nonfarm industries.
  • Overall, the data for March highlights a stable labor force but with increasing unemployment and a slight contraction in nonfarm employment opportunities.

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 a positive trend for the most recent month.

As of March 2024, the Wichita MSA had 2,321 (0.7 percent) fewer jobs than in February 2020, the last full month before the start of the pandemic, and 44,034 (16.4 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 7,300 jobs (2.4 percent) since before the start of the pandemic, and a gain of 50,600 (19.1 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 is now zero, meaning unchanged over the year.

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 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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