The Wichita Area unemployment rate in January was 4.9 percent, a sharp increase from 4.0 percent in December, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.
Because the rate is not seasonally-adjusted, it doesn’t factor out big seasonal changes such as the usual after-Christmas layoffs. The number of people working in Wichita fell about 1,000 from December, to about 300,600, while the number actively searching for work rose about 3,000, to about 15,300.
But the January rate was an improvement from a year ago when it was 5.3 percent. The number of people working this year was up about 5,000 compared to a year ago.
For Kansas, January’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate was 4.4 percent; and in the metro areas: Manhattan, 3.5 percent; Lawrence, 3.8 percent; the Kansas side of Kansas City, 4.1 percent; and Topeka, 4.7 percent;