Local forecast raises projected job losses in 2010

An updated Wichita State University jobs forecast predicts more losses in 2010 than earlier estimated.

The forecast, released today, calls for Wichita-area employment to lose 4,300 jobs during the year, according to WSU's Center for Economic Development and Business Research.

That is a 1.5 percent drop in the nearly 300,000 jobs in Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey and Sumner counties.

But the drops are not evenly spread. Production jobs, such as those at the aircraft plants, will fall by another 5,500, according to the report. Trade and transportation, such as retail clerks and truck drivers, will fall 250 jobs.

The forecast calls for a gain of 1,300 jobs in government, mostly stimulus-related and Census-related jobs, and 150 more jobs in the service sector.

At the state level, the center's forecast projects a drop of about 600 jobs overall, leaving the work force virtually flat on a percentage basis.

A loss of nearly 9,000 production workers — mostly from the Wichita area — and 900 in the trade sector will be offset by gains from the government.