Kansas needs pro-growth policies

A theme of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback when he spoke in Wichita this week was jobs and opportunities, and how Kansas needs pro-growth policies to break out of a slump.

The governor spoke at the annual dinner of the Kansas Policy Institute. He said: “We cannot continue on this path and hope that we are going to move forward and win in the future. It won’t work. We have got to change course, and we’ve got to be aggressive about it, or we’re doomed to a slow decline, which we’ve had for some period of time.”

Brownback said we need to move to a pro-growth tax policy, although he wasn’t ready to release details at the time.

Looking at a few charts of job growth in Kansas, we can easily see the problem Brownback referred to. A chart of the number of private sector jobs in Kansas as compared to a few surrounding states over the past ten years shows Kansas at or near the bottom.

Kansas private sector job growth compared to other statesKansas private sector job growth compared to other states. Data is indexed, with January 2001 equal to 1. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Looking at year-to-year job changes over since January 2010, we again see Kansas at or near the bottom.

Kansas private sector job change, year-to-year, compared to other statesKansas private sector job change, year-to-year, compared to other states.

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