Business

September 20, 2013

Wichita area unemployment rate ticks down from July

The Wichita area jobless rate fell slightly in August, to 6.8 percent, from both the 7.1 percent in July and the 7.0 percent rate of August 2012, according to the state Department of Labor.

The Wichita area jobless rate fell slightly in August, to 6.8 percent, from both the 7.1 percent in July and the 7.0 percent rate of August 2012, according to the state Department of Labor.

This continues several years of general stagnation in the employment picture in the Wichita area. Although the unemployment rate has drifted down since peaking in July 2009 that is largely because the number of people actively seeking work has fallen.

The number of employed was about 279,600 in August, up nearly 900 from August 2012, while the number of people considered unemployed was down about 700 from a year ago.

In the separate survey of Wichita area employers released by the labor department, the local sectors gaining the most jobs compared to a year ago include business and professional services, leisure and hospitality, and durable goods manufacturing. The biggest losing sectors include natural resources, government and retail trade.

The Wichita metro area includes Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.

For the state as a whole, the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in August, down from 6.1 percent in July, but unchanged from August 2012.

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