Opinion Columns & Blogs

Wichita outperformed Kansas City in job growth

For several years, Gov. Sam Brownback and others have blamed Wichita for being a drag on the state’s job growth – and with some justification. Meanwhile, they have lauded job growth in the Kansas City region as evidence that state tax cuts are working. But that wasn’t the case last year. The Wichita metropolitan statistical area had 1.1 percent growth in nonfarm jobs last year, while the Kansas City MSA had zero growth. That’s right – the five Kansas counties in the Kansas City area, which includes Johnson County, had the same number of jobs at the end of 2015 as in 2014. Statewide, Kansas had 0.5 percent job growth last year, the ninth worst rate in the nation. – Phillip Brownlee