Wichita unemployment rate, jobs both tick up

06/15/2012 12:00 AM

06/14/2012 5:46 PM

The Wichita area’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.0 in May from 6.9 percent in April, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

On the other hand, an improvement was seen in a separate measure put out by the labor department, called the non-farm jobs survey, which polls employers rather than households.

That survey showed a gain of 3,000 jobs between April and May, especially in retail, construction and manufacturing. When the usual seasonal jump in employment is factored out, Wichita still saw a jump of 1,400 jobs, according to Tyler Tenbrink, economist for the labor department.

Still, that amounts to about 1 percent of all jobs in Wichita. Both the state and metro area labor markets are essentially flat, Tenbrink said.

“We’ve had pretty stagnant job growth for three months now,” he said.

The May unemployment rate is better than the 7.9 percent rate of May 2011.

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