Carrie Rengers

Looking for a job? These numbers could point you in the right direction

Spirit AeroSystems to add 1,400 more jobs in Wichita

Spirit AeroSystems is planning to hire an additional 1,400 people next year in Wichita, president and CEO Tom Gentile said during a press conference on December 19, 2018.
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Spirit AeroSystems is planning to hire an additional 1,400 people next year in Wichita, president and CEO Tom Gentile said during a press conference on December 19, 2018.

UPDATED — Looking for a job?

There’s good news on a few job-related fronts in Kansas, including some tips from a couple of sources on where to look for new ones.

First, the latest employment numbers are out from the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University.

According to the center’s report, nonfarm employment had a “substantial upturn” with about 20,000 more jobs from November 2017 to November 2018.

The report says that’s up from “near-zero employment growth” in Kansas from 2016 to 2017.

The Wichita rate is slightly less at an anticipated 0.9 percent growth rate for 2,800 jobs.

Center director Jeremy Hill says it’s all a lot cheerier than it’s been.

“The last couple of years have had a lot of doom and gloom,” he says.

The state’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend, dropping to 3.2 percent in November, which is the lowest rate since May 1999.

The national unemployment rate was a close match at 3.7 percent in November.

Jobs are expected to continue to grow this year at a rate of 1.1 percent, or more than 15,000 new jobs.

Hill says that doesn’t mean there aren’t concerns, such as agriculture and trade, and there’s a small recession looming nationwide for 2020. However, he says he believes Kansas is in a good position “to weather this next recession pretty well” with a strong aerospace demand and likely upward swings in oil and gas and agriculture.

The center reports the fastest-growing sector is production, which “is forecast to remain robust” with about 3,500 new jobs, particularly in construction and manufacturing.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector is projected to do almost as well with more than 3,200 new jobs.

The service sector is forecasted to add more than 7,000 jobs across a broad variety of areas, such as business and professional services, hospitality and financial services among other things.

The government sector is expected to have the least amount of growth at 0.5 percent this year, most of which will be at the local level.

CareerBuilder also has released some jobs numbers that could be helpful for Kansans looking to make career changes.

The company, which is an HR technology firm, studied what will be the biggest growth areas for high-, middle- and low-wage jobs in Kansas over the next five years.

The number of high-end jobs, which generally require more education, is expected to grow by 5 percent by 2023 with 23,489 new jobs.

The top five are software developers, market analysts, financial managers, physical therapists and healthcare social workers.

Middle-wage jobs are expected to grow by 3 percent with 14,645 jobs. The top ones are phlebotomists, industrial truck and tractor operators, massage therapists, medical secretaries and loan interviewers and clerks.

Low-wage jobs are expected to grow by 4 percent with 21,396 new jobs. Those tops ones include home health aides, personal care aides, nonfarm animal caretakers, laborers and freight movers and packers.

Happy job hunting.

Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for almost three decades, including 16 years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Heard? column of business scoops runs five days a week in The Eagle. If you have a tip, please e-mail or tweet her or call 316-268-6340.


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