TOPEKA, Kan. – Preliminary estimates reported by the Labor Market Information Services division of the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.3 percent in October. This was a decrease from 5.9 percent in September and an increase from 3.1 percent in October 2019.
“The October report shows that Kansas has continued to make an economic recovery during the pandemic,” said Acting Secretary Ryan Wright. “We have seen an increase in the number of jobs and those employed in the labor force, along with another drop in the unemployment rate which decreased to 5.3 percent in October.”
Jobless rates in Ellis County continued to trend toward pre-COVID numbers, which primarily reached their regional peak in May. The Ellis County unemployment rate remained steady at 2.9 percent, and most northwest Kansas counties posted rates below 3 percent.
The highest rates in the region were Graham, Rooks and Barton counties, all with unemployment rates higher than 4 percent — but still far below the 7.2 percent statewide high in Sedgwick County.
Seasonally adjusted job estimates indicate total Kansas nonfarm jobs increased by 7,200 from September. Private sector jobs, a subset of total nonfarm jobs, increased by 5,900 from the previous month, while government increased by 1,300.
“October estimates show Kansas added jobs over-the-month and the state has now recovered 54.6 percent of nonfarm jobs lost in March and April,” said Labor Economist Emilie Doerksen. “The professional and business services and leisure and hospitality industries saw the largest increases in October, with each industry adding more than 2,500 jobs.”
Since October 2019, Kansas seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs have declined by 53,000. This change is due to a decrease of 41,300 private sector jobs and 11,700 government jobs.
BLS revised seasonally adjusted preliminary total nonfarm jobs estimates for September upward by 1,300 jobs, from 1,360,400 to 1,361,700. Seasonally adjusted private sector jobs were revised upward by 1,500 jobs, from 1,113,100 to 1,114,600.