Bob Weeks

5432 Posts
National employment, February 2021

National employment, February 2021

The unemployment changed little in February 2021, but job growth was stronger than any month since October. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, reported the closely-followed jobs number rose in February 2021 by 379,000 jobs from the prior month. The unemployment rate was "little changed at 6.2 percent." Compared to the economy before the onset of the pandemic, BLS wrote: "Both the unemployment rate, at 6.2 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 10.0 million, changed little in February. Although both measures are much lower than their April 2020 highs, they remain…
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Kansas tax revenue, February 2021

Kansas tax revenue, February 2021

For February 2021, Kansas tax revenue was 1.7 percent greater than February 2020. Over the eight months of the current fiscal year, revenue is 14.2 percent higher than at the same point of the previous year. Tax reports from the State of Kansas for February 2021 show tax revenues falling from the previous month, but higher than the same month the prior year, despite the effects of the response to the pandemic. The fall from January is characteristic of the seasonal pattern. When reporting on Kansas tax collections, the comparison is usually made to the estimated collections. Those estimates were…
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Historic buildings bill on tap

Historic buildings bill on tap

A bill designed to protect two buildings in downtown Wichita has a legislative hearing this week. Last year a citizen group gathered signatures on a petition that would prevent the City of Wichita from disposing of two downtown buildings without an approving vote of a majority of citizens. Based on having the required number of valid signatures, the petition was certified as valid. But the city sued to have the petition thrown out, contending the petition went beyond what Kansas law allows as the subject of municipal petitions. A judge agreed with the city. Now the group has a bill…
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Naftzger Park event management agreement still ambiguous

Naftzger Park event management agreement still ambiguous

This week the Wichita City Council will update an agreement from last year, but it appears important issues were not addressed. Last February the City of Wichita approved an agreement with a local business to manage events at Naftzger Park. With the pandemic upending public events, the business -- Wave Old Town, LLC -- was unable to program any events. Therefore, the city wants to add additional time to the agreement. During the delay, the city could have addressed problems with the original agreement. Some problems concern the bidding process. My concern was the uncertainty in the profit-sharing agreement, which…
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Say no to special tax treatment, again

Say no to special tax treatment, again

In Kansas, a company seeks to avoid paying property taxes, again. In a bill presented in the Kansas Legislature, the owner of health clubs seeks to avoid paying property taxes. The same company and its owner have tried this before. In 2014, I explained how granting this exemption was a bad idea. What has changed since then? This exemption is still a bad idea for reasons of public policy. Additionally, Brandon Steven, the owner of the health clubs, plead guilty to a gambling charge and forfeited one million dollars in earnings. The companies also owe a lot of the tax…
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GDP by metropolitan area and component

GDP by metropolitan area and component

An interactive visualization of gross domestic product by metropolitan area and industry. The Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, gathers data about economic output, known as gross domestic product. The visualization I have created presents this data in tabular and graphic form. (more…)
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National employment, January 2021

National employment, January 2021

The unemployment rate fell in January 2021, but job growth was weak, and the December value was revised. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, reported the closely-followed jobs number rose in January 2021 by 49,000 jobs from the prior month. The unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent to 6.4 percent. BLS notes that the total nonfarm employment level is "below its February 2020 level by 9.9 million, or 6.5 percent." The summary report from BLS may be found here. Of note: BLS revised recent figures, which it does as more data becomes available.…
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Wichita jobs and employment, December 2020

Wichita jobs and employment, December 2020

For the Wichita metropolitan area in December 2020, the number of unemployed persons is up, the unemployment rate is up, and the number of people working is down when compared to the same month one year ago. The recent trend, however, is mixed. (more…)
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Kansas tax revenue, January 2021

Kansas tax revenue, January 2021

For January 2021, total Kansas tax revenue was 9.7 percent greater than January 2020. Over the seven months of the current fiscal year, tax revenue is 15.5 percent higher than at the same point of the previous fiscal year. (more…)
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Follow the Money

Follow the Money

"Put another way: We all pay taxes together. Like it or not. Any time a politician tells you he is going to raise taxes but only on other people, he is selling snake oil. The truth is, politicians don’t know where taxes actually land. Nobody really does — and nobody but nobody knows in advance how that will shake out. When Senator Bernie Sanders talks about raising taxes on “the rich,” he is talking about raising taxes on everybody, whether he understands that or not. When Donald Trump promised that his tariffs — which are a sales tax — would…
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Kansas agency revenue

Kansas agency revenue

Data regarding State of Kansas agency revenue presented in an interactive visualization, with data through fiscal year 2020. The source of this data is KanView, the Kansas transparency portal, through its download center. Data from multiple years are combined into one database. Data starts with fiscal year 2011. (more…)
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Kansas agency expenditures

Kansas agency expenditures

Data regarding State of Kansas agency spending presented in an interactive visualization. The source of this data is KanView, the Kansas transparency portal, through its download center. Data from multiple years are combined into one database. Data starts with fiscal year 2011. (more…)
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Ten Thousand Commandments

Ten Thousand Commandments

Ten Thousand Commandments is the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual survey of the size, scope, and cost of federal regulations, and how they affect American consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy at large. Written by CEI Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews, it shines a light on the large and under-appreciated “hidden tax” of America’s regulatory state. The current edition marks 26 years since the first report was published as part of the Journal of Regulation and Social Costs in 1993. Click here to read the report.
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Kansas jobs, December 2020

Kansas jobs, December 2020

In Kansas for December 2020, the labor force shrank while the number of people working rose, resulting in a drop in the unemployment rate. Data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mixed employment picture in Kansas for December 2020. (more…)
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