Category Archives: Economics

Kansas jobs, July 2019

Employment rose and the labor force in Kansas fell slightly in July 2019 compared to the two previous months, and employment continued a trend of lower growth than the nation over the year.

Data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a mixed picture for employment in Kansas for July 2019. (Click charts and tables for larger versions.)

Using seasonally adjusted data, from June 2019 to July 2019, nonfarm employment in Kansas rose by 2,500, which is 0.2 percent. Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for July 2019 rose by 14,200 or 1.0 percent over last July. This is using seasonally adjusted data. The non-adjusted figure is higher at 18,300, or 1.3 percent.

Over the year (July 2018 to July 2019), the Kansas labor force is down by 2,870 (0.2 percent) using seasonally adjusted data, with declines of 0.2 percent and 0.0 percent over the last two months. Non-seasonal data shows a decline of 1,589 (0.1 percent) in the labor force over the year.

The number of unemployed persons fell from June 2019 to July 2019 by 915, or 1.8 percent. The unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in July, unchanged from one year ago, and down from 3.4 percent in June.

Using seasonal data, Kansas nonfarm jobs increased by 1.00 percent over the past 12 months, while national jobs grew by 1.51 percent.

The gain of 2,500 jobs from June to July consisted 3,700 of gains in the private sector and 1,200 lost in government.

Goods-producing jobs rose by 600, and service-providing jobs grew by 1,900.

Construction jobs grew by 200, manufacturing grew by 400, and 800 jobs were gained in trade, transportation, and utilities.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

In the following chart of showing job changes from the same month one year ago, Kansas is always below the national rate.

In the following chart showing job changes from the previous month, Kansas sometimes outperforms the nation.

Wichita jobs and employment, June 2019

For the Wichita metropolitan area in June 2019, the labor force is up, the number of unemployed persons is up, the unemployment rate is down, and the number of people working is up when compared to the same month one year ago. Seasonal data shows declines in labor force and jobs from May.

Data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a slowing employment situation for the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

Total nonfarm employment rose from 297,300 last June to 302,600 this June. That’s an increase of 5,300 jobs, or 1.8 percent. (This data is not seasonally adjusted, so month-to-month comparisons are not valid.) For the same period, employment in the nation grew by 1.5 percent. The unemployment rate in June 2019 was 3.6 percent, down from 4.1 percent one year ago.

Considering seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force fell by 317 persons (0.1 percent) in June 2019 from May 2019, the number of unemployed persons fell by 269 (2.3 percent), and the unemployment rate was down to 3.6 percent from 3.7 percent in May. The number of employed persons not working on farms fell to 299,144 in June from 299,192 the prior month, a decline of 47 persons, or 0.0 percent.

The following chart of the monthly change in labor force and employment shows a general decline over the past year, then three consecutive months of losses for both measures.

The following chart of changes from the same month one year ago shows six consecutive months of decline in the rate of growth of both employment and labor force. The values are growing, but at a slower pace each month since January.

Kansas GDP

In the first quarter of 2019, the Kansas economy grew at the annual rate of 3.1 percent, up from 0.9 percent the previous quarter.

In the first quarter of 2019, the Kansas economy grew at the annual rate of 3.1 percent in real (inflation-adjusted) dollars, according to statistics released today by Bureau of Economic Analysis, a division of the United States Department of Commerce. GDP for the quarter was at the annual rate of $171,215 million.

Click for larger.

The rate of 3.1 percent ranked twentieth among the states and matched the rate for the entire nation.

Quarterly GDP growth for states can be volatile, as shown in the chart.

Over the last eight quarters, Kansas has averaged quarterly growth rates of 1.3 percent in annual terms. For the nation, the rate was 2.9 percent. For the Plains states, it was 2.0 percent. (For this data, BEA defines Plains states as Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.)

For Kansas, industries that performed substantially better than the nation include agriculture, durable goods manufacturing, durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, and management of companies and enterprises.

Click for larger.

Kansas jobs, June 2019

Employment and the labor force in Kansas fell slightly in June 2019, and continued a trend of mostly slower growth than the nation over the year.

Data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows falling employment in Kansas for June 2019. (Click charts and tables for larger versions.)

Using seasonally adjusted data, from May 2019 to June 2019, nonfarm employment in Kansas fell by 900, which is 0.1 percent. Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for June 2019 rose by 11,000 or 0.8 percent over last June. This is using seasonally adjusted data. The non-adjusted figure is higher at 16,900, or 1.2 percent.

Over the year (June 2018 to June 2019), the Kansas labor force is down by 1,186 (0.1 percent) using seasonally adjusted data, with declines of 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent over the last two months. Non-seasonal data shows a decline of 7,793 (0.5 percent) in the labor force over the year.

The number of unemployed persons fell from May 2019 to June 2019 by 1,585, or 3.1 percent. The unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in June, up from 3.3 percent from one year ago, and down from 3.5 percent in May.

Using seasonal data, Kansas nonfarm jobs increased by 0.78 percent over the past 12 months, while national jobs grew by 1.54 percent.

Of the loss of 900 jobs from May to June, 600 were gained in the private sector, while 1,500 were lost in government.

Goods-producing jobs rose by 1,200, while service-providing jobs fell by 2,100.

Construction jobs grew by 1,100, and 1,600 jobs were lost in trade, transportation, and utilities.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

In the following chart of showing job changes from the same month one year ago, Kansas is always below the national rate.

In the following chart showing job changes from the previous month, Kansas sometimes outperforms the nation.

Updated: National transit database

An interactive visualization of data over time from the National Transit Database. Now with data through 2017.

Do you wonder how much it costs to run your transit system? The National Transit Database holds data for transit systems in the U.S. I’ve gathered some key statistics and presented them in an interactive visualization.

In the case of Wichita, we see that “OpExp per PMT” for 2017 was $1.44. This is total operating expense per passenger mile traveled. It’s not the cost to move a bus a mile down the street. It’s the cost to move one passenger one mile. And, it is operating cost only, which means the costs of the buses are not included.

Some definitions used in the database:

  • UZA: The name of the urbanized area served primarily by a transit agency.
  • UPT: Unlinked passenger trips. “The number of passengers who board public transportation vehicles. Passengers are counted each time they board a vehicle no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to their destination.”
  • PMT: Passenger miles traveled.
  • Total OpExp: Total operating expense.

Click here learn more about the data and to access the visualization.

Click for larger.

Updated: Economic indicators in the states

After a trend of decline, coincident and leading economic indicators for Kansas are improving.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia calculates two indexes that track and forecast economic activity in the states and the country as a whole. Values are available through May 2019.

The coincident index is a measure of current and past economic activity for each state. The leading index predicts the six-month growth rate of the state’s coincident index. Positive values mean the coincident index is expected to rise in the future six months, while negative values mean it is expected to fall. (For more detail, see Visualization: Economic indicators in the states.)

For Kansas, the coincident index has been on a mostly downhill trend since May 2018. But for April and May of this year, the index has risen.

The leading index shows the same trend: A peak one year ago, then mostly down except rising for the last two months.

A nearby chart shows index values for the last two years for Kansas, some nearby states, and the United States. You can access the visualization and create your own charts here: Visualization: Economic indicators in the states.

Click chart for larger.

Wichita jobs and employment, May 2019

For the Wichita metropolitan area in May 2019, the labor force is up, the number of unemployed persons is up, the unemployment rate is unchanged, and the number of people working is up when compared to the same month one year ago. Seasonal data shows declines in labor force and jobs from April.

Data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a slowing employment situation for the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

Total nonfarm employment rose from 300,000 last May to 303,200 this May. That’s an increase of 3,200 jobs, or 1.1 percent. (This data is not seasonally adjusted, so month-to-month comparisons are not valid.) For the same period, employment in the nation grew by 1.5 percent. The unemployment rate in May 2019 was 3.5 percent, same as one year ago.

Considering seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force fell by 402 persons (0.1 percent) in May 2019 from April 2019, the number of unemployed persons fell by 57 (0.5 percent), and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent. The number of employed persons not working on farms fell to 299,023 in May from 299,368 the prior month, a decline of 345 persons, or 0.1 percent.

The following chart of the monthly change in labor force and employment shows a general decline over the past year, then two consecutive months of losses for both measures.

The following chart of changes from the same month one year ago shows six consecutive months of decline in the rate of growth of both employment and labor force. The values are growing, but at a slower pace each month.

Kansas personal income

For the first quarter of 2019, the rate of personal income growth in Kansas was less than the national rate, although better than the Plains states.

Today the Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, released state personal income data for the first quarter of 2019. The news release is here.

For Kansas, personal income in 2019 Q1 was $148,991 million, an increase of 3.0 percent from the previous quarter. (These values, while considering one quarter, are expressed as an annual rate, and are adjusted for seasonality.) For the nation, the increase was 3.4 percent. For Plains states, the increase was 2.1 percent. (For this data, Plains States are Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.)

The increase in Kansas was thirty-sixth best among the states.

For the first quarter of 2019, earnings in Kansas grew by $602 million. Farm earnings fell by $104 million.

According to BEA, “Personal income is the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources: from participation as laborers in production, from owning a home or business, from the ownership of financial assets, and from government and business in the form of transfers. It includes income from domestic sources as well as the rest of world. It does not include realized or unrealized capital gains or losses.”

Also from BEA: “Earnings by place of work is the sum of wages and salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, and proprietors’ income. BEA’s industry estimates are presented on an earnings by place of work basis.”

Click for larger image and the news release..

Kansas jobs, May 2019

Employment in Kansas grew in May 2019, but continued a trend of slower growth than the nation. The labor force is smaller.

Data released yesterday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows rising employment in Kansas for May 2019. (Click charts and tables for larger versions.)

Using seasonally adjusted data, from April 2019 to May 2019, nonfarm employment in Kansas rose by 600, which is 0.04 percent. Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for May 2019 rose by 12,900 or 0.9 percent over last May. This is using seasonally adjusted data. The non-adjusted figure is higher at 16,500, or 1.2 percent.

Over the year (May 2018 to May 2019), the Kansas labor force is up by 0.1 percent using seasonally adjusted data, with declines of 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent over the last two months. Non-seasonal data shows a decline of 1,574 (0.1 percent) in the labor force over the year.

The number of unemployed persons fell from April 2019 to May 2019 by 222, or 0.4 percent. The unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in May, up from 3.3 percent from one year ago, and unchanged from April.

Using seasonal data, Kansas jobs increased by 0.91 percent over the past 12 months, while national jobs grew by 1.58 percent.

Of the growth of 600 jobs from April to May, 100 were in the private sector, and 500 in government.

Goods-producing jobs fell by 1,100, while service-providing jobs rose by 1,700.

Construction jobs fell by 1,600, and 1,300 jobs were gained in trade, transportation, and utilities.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

In the following chart of showing job changes from the same month one year ago, Kansas is always below the national rate.

In the following chart showing job changes from the previous month, Kansas sometimes outperforms the nation.

Airport traffic statistics, 2018

Airport traffic data presented in an interactive visualization, updated through 2018.

This visualization holds data from TranStats, a service of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), which is the independent statistical agency within the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). While monthly data is available, this visualization holds annual totals.

The nearby example shows data starting in 2010 for the nation (blue lines) and Wichita. The visualization holds data for all U.S. airports with scheduled flights.

Example from the visualization, showing Wichita compared to all airports, through 2018. Click for larger

A few observations regarding Wichita airport traffic as compared to the nation:

  • Since 2014, passenger traffic (departing passengers) at the Wichita airport is higher, but traffic for the nation as a whole is much higher.
  • The number of scheduled departures has been declining in Wichita, while increasing for the nation after a decline.
  • The number of available seats on departing flights from Wichita has been mostly level, while rising sharply for the nation.
  • Load factor for Wichita has been rising, while level and declining slightly for the nation.

To view and use the interactive visualization, click here.

Updated: Metropolitan populations

A visualization of the population of metropolitan statistical areas, now with annual data from 1969 through 2018.

For most types of economic and demographic analysis, metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) are preferred to cities proper. The Census Bureau notes: “The general concept of a metropolitan or micropolitan statistical area is that of a core area containing a substantial population nucleus, together with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with that core.” 1

Wichita officials usually recognize this and have started to emphasize the importance of the region (the MSA), not just the city. Many of our civic agencies have named or renamed themselves like these examples: Greater Wichita Partnership, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth, Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, Wichita Area Planning Organization, Regional Economic Area Partnership of South Central Kansas, South Central Kansas Economic Development District.

Further, there is more economic data available at the MSA level (compared to the city level) from agencies like Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis. This data includes important measures like employment, labor force, unemployment rate, gross domestic product, and personal income.

This visualization has several different views of population data, from tables to charts showing relative growth. A new feature is a map. You can select a range of years, and as you point to a metropolitan area you’ll see the population change over that time.

to access the visualization.

Example from the visualization. Click for larger.


Notes

Updated: Populations of the states

An interactive table and charts of populations in the states and regions, from 1929 through 2018.

How have the states grown in population since 1929? Growth varies widely. This visualization has several views that illustrate changes in state populations.

Click here to access this visualization.

Source of data is Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the United States Department of Commerce.

Click for larger.

Updated: State government tax collections

Kansas personal income tax collections rose by $372 per person in 2018, an increase of 46.5 percent.

Each year the United States Census Bureau collects a summary of taxes collected by each state for 5 broad tax categories and up to 25 tax subcategories. 1 I’ve collected this data and made it available in an interactive visualization. Data is through 2018.

You may recall that Kansas raised personal income tax rates in 2017 and made the new rate retroactive to January 1, 2017. But that change doesn’t seem to have affected the data for fiscal year 2017. For 2016, Kansas collected $767 per person in individual income taxes, and for 2017, $800. Not much difference.

Now data for fiscal year 2018 is available, and it shows Kansas collecting $1,172 per person in individual income taxes, an increase of $372 or 46.5 percent over 2017.

(Here’s the reason for the 2017 data being relatively unaffected. For most states, including Kansas, this data is for the fiscal year, not the calendar year. 2 New withholding tax tables were not available until June 27, 2017, just three days before the end of fiscal year 2017. 3)

Considering all taxes, Kansas collected $3,279 per person in 2018, up from $2,808 in 2017, an increase of $471 or 16.8 percent.

Click here to access the visualization.

Click images for larger versions.

In the following chart showing total tax collections per person over time, Kansas now collects more than our surrounding states.

This chart shows for 2018, the total and the composition of taxes collected.


Notes

  1. United States Census Bureau. Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections (STC). Available at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/stc.html.
  2. United States Census Bureau. State Government Tax Collections: 2017 Technical Documentation. Available at https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/stc/technical-documentation/complete-technical-documentation/statetaxtechdoc2017.pdf.
  3. Kansas Department of Revenue. New Kansas income tax withholding tables now available. Available at https://www.ksrevenue.org/CMS/content/06-27-2017-NewWHTables.pdf.

Real personal income

Click chart for a larger version, or click here for the chart’s page at FREDs Economic Data at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Billions of Chained 2012 Dollars, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, Percent Change from Year Ago, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate.
Frequency: Monthly.
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Real Personal Income [RPI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/RPI, May 31, 2019.

Wichita jobs and employment, April 2019

For the Wichita metropolitan area in April 2019, the labor force is up, the number of unemployed persons is down, the unemployment rate is down, and the number of people working is up when compared to the same month one year ago. Seasonal data shows small declines in labor force and jobs from March.

Data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows an improving, but also mixed, employment situation for the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

Total nonfarm employment rose from 298,500 last April to 303,400 this April. That’s an increase of 4,900 jobs, or 1.64 percent. (This data is not seasonally adjusted, so month-to-month comparisons are not valid.) For the same period, jobs in the nation grew by 1.76 percent.

The unemployment rate in April 2019 was 3.3 percent, down from 3.5 percent one year ago.

Considering seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force fell by 227 persons (0.1 percent) in April 2019 from March 2019, the number of unemployed persons fell by 97 (0.8 percent), and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent. The number of employed persons not working on farms fell to 299,538 in April from 299,668 the prior month, a decline of 130 persons, or 0.0 percent.

The following chart of the monthly change in labor force and employment shows a general decline over the past year, with some recent months of losses for both measures.

The following chart of changes from the same month one year ago shows a general decline in the rate of growth.

Looking at the charts of changes in employment year-over-year, we see some months in the past year where Wichita outperformed the nation. That last happened in 2012.

This article has been updated to correct a mistake in the original version.

Wichita population, 2018

The City of Wichita lost 1,052 in population from 2017 to 2018, a decline of 0.27 percent.

Data released today by the United States Census Bureau shows the City of Wichita losing population from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018. 1

The bureau’s estimate of city population on July 1, 2018 is 389,255. This is a decline of 1,052 (0.27 percent) from the year before. These are populations of cities, not metropolitan areas, although the Wichita metropolitan area also lost population. 2

The estimate of population on July 1, 2017 was revised from 390,591 to 390,317, meaning that for 2017, Wichita population declined by 242 from the July 1, 2016 population of 390,509.

With the revised 2017 figure, Wichita has had two years of declining population, as can be seen in the nearby chart.

While Wichita lost 0.27 percent of its population in one year, the top 100 cities gained 0.51 percent. Since 2010, Wichita has grown by 1.71 percent, while the top 100 cities grew by 7.57 percent.

Wichita is the fifty-first largest city, down from fiftieth the two prior years.


Notes

  1. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places of 50,000 or More, Ranked by July 1, 2018 Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division Release Date: May 2019
  2. Weeks, Bob. Wichita population falls; outmigration continues. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/wichita-population-falls-outmigration-continues/.

Sedgwick County job growth continues strong pace

In the fourth quarter of 2018, Sedgwick County continued strong job growth.

Data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, show a continuing strong jobs picture for Sedgwick County.

Data from the Bureau’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program show that from December 2017 to December 2018, Sedgwick County gained 5,500 jobs, which is a rate of 2.2 percent, as calculated by BLS. For the nation, growth was 1.5 percent.

The job growth rate for Sedgwick County was 100th best among the nation’s 350 largest counties.

While the job growth rate in Sedgwick County for the fourth quarter of 2018 exceeded the national rate, for the most recent four quarters the average rate for Sedgwick County was 1.3 percent, and 1.6 percent for the nation.

Average weekly wages in Sedgwick County increased by 3.8 percent over the year to $946. For the nation, wages rose by 3.2 percent to $1,144.

Click charts for larger versions.

Kansas jobs, April 2019

Employment in Kansas continues to grow in April 2019, but continues a trend of slower growth than the nation. The labor force is smaller.

Data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows rising employment in Kansas for April 2019.

Click for larger

Using seasonally adjusted data, from March 2019 to April 2019, nonfarm employment in Kansas rose by 6,900, which is 0.5 percent. Over the year, the number of Kansas nonfarm jobs for April 2019 rose by 12,400 or 0.9 percent over last April. This is using seasonally adjusted data. The non-adjusted figure is nearly identical at 12,300.

Over the year (April 2018 to April 2019), the Kansas labor force is up by 0.3 percent using seasonally adjusted data, with declines of 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent over the last two months. Non-seasonal data shows a decline of 7,033 (0.5 percent) in the labor force over the year.

The number of unemployed persons fell from March 2019 to April 2019 by 331, or 0.6 percent. The unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in April, up from 3.4 percent from one year ago, and unchanged from March.

Looking at annual job growth on a monthly basis shows Kansas averaging 0.94 percent over the past 12 months, while the rate for the nation is 1.75 percent.

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

Wichita personal income growing, but slowly

Among the nation’s 383 metropolitan areas, Wichita ranked 347th for personal income growth.

Statistics released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, show personal income in the Wichita metro area growing at a slow rate.

The figures released today are through calendar year 2017. For that year, personal income in the Wichita metropolitan statistical area was $30,801 million, up 2.3 percent from $30,103 million the previous year. These are current dollars.

Using inflation-adjusted dollars, income growth was 0.7 percent.

Of 383 metropolitan areas, Wichita ranked 347 for growth from 2016 to 2017.

Per capita personal income in the Wichita MSA for 2017 was $47,708 in current dollars, up 2.2 percent from $46,696 in 2016. In inflation-adjusted dollars, per capita personal income grew by 0.5 percent from 2016 to 2017. This growth rate ranked at position 327 among 383 metropolitan areas.

BEA offers these definitions:

Personal income is the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources: from participation as laborers in production, from owning a home or business, from the ownership of financial assets, and from government and business in the form of transfers. It includes income from domestic sources as well as the rest of world. It does not include realized or unrealized capital gains or losses.

Personal income is measured before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes and is reported in current dollars (no adjustment is made for price changes). Comparisons for different regions and time periods reflect changes in both the price and quantity components of regional personal income.

The estimate of personal income for the United States is the sum of the state estimates and the estimate for the District of Columbia; it differs slightly from the estimate of personal income in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) because of differences in coverage, in the methodologies used to prepare the estimates, and in the timing of the availability of source data.

Per capita personal income is calculated as the total personal income of the residents of a given area divided by the population of the area. In computing per capita personal income, BEA uses Census Bureau mid-year population estimates.