Area’s unemployment rate drops as labor pool shrinks

03/18/2013 9:12 AM

03/18/2013 9:13 AM

Unemployment in the Wichita area dropped to 7 percent in January, compared to 7.5 percent in January 2012, according to information at the state Department of Labor website.

The decline is a result of a shrinking labor pool. Fewer people consider themselves a part of the area’s work force – either as employed workers or people looking for work. In January 2012, the Wichita area work force totaled 323,959; in January 2013, the number had dropped to 321,096.

At the same time, the number of employed people also dropped slightly, from 299,619 in January 2012 to 298,749 in January 2013.

According to the labor department, the state has gained 16,900 nonfarm jobs and 19,300 private sector jobs since January 2012. The department said the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state in January was 5.5 percent, the same as in December.

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