Wichita since the start of the pandemic (and the past decade)


How has Wichita fared since the start of the pandemic compared to other metropolitan areas?

(These examples are taken from my interactive visualization, which holds data on all metropolitan areas in the nation. See Metro area employment and unemployment. It holds data through November 2021.)

The nearby chart shows Wichita along with some nearby metropolitan areas. It displays three variables:

  • The change in employment since the first date shown, which is January 2020, right before the start of the response to the pandemic.
  • The change in labor force since the first date shown.
  • The value of the unemployment rate (not the change, as for employment and labor force).

Some observations:

  • In job creation or employment change, Wichita has done better than some areas, but not as well as others.
  • For the labor force, Wichita had been doing well, with the labor force being nearly the same size as before the pandemic, although it has shrunk in recent months.
  • For the unemployment rate, Wichita has not done as well as most.
Example from the visualization. Click for larger.

I also include the same chart but starting with January 2010. Some observations:

  • Wichita’s employment change lags far behind the other metropolitan areas shown and the nation. Des Moines, for example, has added jobs at four times the rate as Wichita.
  • Wichita’s labor force fell over this period, the lone example of this among the comparable areas that I chose.
  • Wichita’s unemployment rate is comparatively high.
Example from the visualization. Click for larger.

As always, you may use the interactive visualization to create your own charts and tables. The link is above.


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