Jobless rate drops for Wichita area

The Wichita area unemployment rate dropped significantly in April, falling to 6.9 percent from 7.8 percent in March, according to data from the state Department of Labor.

The gain in employment is real, but may not mean real improvement in the economy because the rate isn’t adjusted to take out the usual seasonal hiring and firing.

“This sluggish growth is reflective of what is happening in the national economy as gross domestic product growth has slowed, creating an environment that is not favorable for steady job growth,” said Kansas Department of Labor economist Tyler Tenbrink.

The number of people working in Wichita was up about 1,400, and the number seeking work was down about 2,700 compared with March.

The rate in April continued a streak of slow improvement over the previous year. Unemployment for the Wichita area stood at 7.7 percent in April 2011.

Dan Voorhis