Opinion Columns & Blogs

Jobs drop shows Kansas economy still struggling

A spike in job growth in October raised hopes that the Kansas economy was finally taking off. But a drop in jobs in November shows that Kansas is still struggling – and is unlikely to grow its way out of its budget problems. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the total number of nonfarm jobs in Kansas fell by 4,100. Kansas was one of only 13 states that lost jobs last month. All total, Kansas added only 12,200 jobs in the first 11 months of the year, a growth rate of less than 1 percent – far below the national average. In addition to the slow growth, real wages in Kansas remain below prerecession levels – and have dropped in Sedgwick County. The average wage in the county during the second quarter of this year fell 0.8 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. – Phillip Brownlee