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Kansas job numbers continue to disappoint

A solar installer works on the wiring of solar panels at Friends University in April. Job numbers for the state were down nearly 6,000 in September compared to the year before, according to numbers from the Kansas Department of Labor.
A solar installer works on the wiring of solar panels at Friends University in April. Job numbers for the state were down nearly 6,000 in September compared to the year before, according to numbers from the Kansas Department of Labor. File photo

The weak patch for Kansas job growth continued in September, with jobs for the month down nearly 6,000 compared to the year before, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

That is the fifth time in the last six months the state job totals have fallen below the same months in 2015.

The state unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent, which is low by historical standards, but above the 4.3 percent of August, and the 4.0 of September 2015.

Kansas’ rural areas are in the midst of a recession caused by depressed prices for most farm products as well as oil and gas. Most counties in Kansas have lost employment in the last year, with rural counties disproportionately affected.

In Wichita, however, the number of jobs has grown compared to a year ago, up more than 3,000 to 299,400. The unemployment rate in Wichita climbed compared to a year ago, from 4.3 percent in September 2015 to 4.5 percent last month.

The biggest gainer was the leisure and hospitality sector, up about 2,000 jobs, while the the biggest losers were construction and oil drilling, and information.

Dan Voorhis: 316-268-6577, @danvoorhis

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