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Wichita jobs and employment, December 2019

For the Wichita metropolitan area in December 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 increases in labor force and jobs from November.

Data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the United States Department of Labor, shows a slowly improving employment situation for the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area. (Of note, this data was gathered before the announcements of layoffs at Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita.)

Click charts and tables for larger versions.

Total nonfarm employment rose from 303,600 last December to 305,300 this November. That’s an increase of 1,700 jobs (0.6 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 1.4 percent. The unemployment rate in December 2019 was 3.2 percent, down from 3.4 percent one year ago.

Considering seasonally adjusted data from the household survey, the labor force rose by 288 persons (0.1 percent) in December 2019 from November 2019, the number of unemployed persons rose by 40 (0.4 percent), and the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent, unchanged from November. The number of employed persons not working on farms rose to 301,452 in December from 301,204 the prior month, an increase of 248 persons (0.2 percent).

The following chart of the monthly change in labor force and employment shows the rising trend in employment and labor force over the last eight months.

The following chart of changes from the same month one year ago shows a decline in the rate of growth of both employment and labor force considering the entire year, but with growth returning the past four or five months.

The following chart of changes in employment from the same month of the previous year shows some months when the Wichita MSA performed better than the nation. Over the past 12 months, the average monthly job growth for the nation was 1.58 percent, and for the Wichita MSA, 1.27 percent.

The following two charts show changes in jobs for Wichita and the nation over longer time periods. The change is calculated from the same month one year ago. 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 rarely outperformed the nation and sometimes has been far below the nation.

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