Cost of Living Less in WichitaThe Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. 

The three Kansas metropolitan areas included in the index averaged 25.6 percent below the national average when weighted by population.

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To subscribe to the Cost of Living Index report, or to learn more about The Council for Community and Economic Research, visit their website.

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Midwest Annual Inflation Rates Rising, June 2017

InflationThe Consumer Price Index is used to calculate inflation, or the change in price of a basket of goods and services, as it impacts consumers; whereas, the Producer Price Index measures changes in selling prices, thereby expressing price changes from the perspective of the seller who produces a particular commodity.

A slide presentation updated with June 2017 data shows the Midwest inflation rate dropped slightly from May to June. While the urban metropolitan areas noticed a 0.36% increase, the non-metropolitan urban areas saw a smaller increase of 0.04%. 

The Producer Price Index data shows that prices in the United States have increased from June 2016 to June 2017 for aircraft (0.6 percent), natural gas (60.8 percent), slaughter livestock (4.3%), and wheat (2.2 percent).. During that same time period, the index decreased crude petroleum (-0.5 percent) and sorghum (-13.1 percent).

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Learn more about the CPI.

Learn more about the PPI.

Kansas Manufacturing: Plastics and Rubber Product Manufacturing

Kansas Plastics and Rubber Product Manufacturing EmploymentIndustries in the plastics and rubber products manufacturing subsector make goods by processing plastic materials and raw rubber. This subsector is restricted to the production of products made of just one material, either solely plastic or rubber. There are many production processes that include plastics or rubber in combination with other materials. Those production processes are not included in this subsector.

In Kansas, plastics and rubber product manufacturing is a low-wage industry with generally flat employment growth. There are about 130 establishments in the state in this subsector, 12 of which have more than 250 employees. Over the past decade employment in this industry has averaged around 9,000 workers, with employment contracting an average of 0.3 percent annually.

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Current and Leading Indices Falling, July 2017

Current & Leading Indices From April to May, the WSU Current Conditions Index decreased by 0.3 percent. The Current Conditions Index increased year-to-year by 0.1 percent from May 2016 to May 2017. In addition, the Leading Index is forecasting a 0.04 percent decrease in economic activity over the next six months.

Read a further analysis of the monthly Index activity.

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Unemployment Rates Rising in Kansas

EmploymentThe unemployment rate for Kansas, as a whole, increased from April 2017 to May 2017. The Wichita and Lawrence MSAs noticed an increase of 0.3 percentage points, while the Manhattan and Topeka MSAs saw a smaller increase of 0.2 percentage points.

A slide presentation is available with additional employment and unemployment data for Kansas and its four metro areas.

View the May slide presentation.

Midwest Annual Inflation Rates Dropping, May 2017

InflationThe Consumer Price Index is used to calculate inflation, or the change in price of a basket of goods and services, as it impacts consumers; whereas, the Producer Price Index measures changes in selling prices, thereby expressing price changes from the perspective of the seller who produces a particular commodity.

A slide presentation updated with May 2017 data shows the Midwest inflation rate dropped slightly from April to May. While the urban metropolitan areas noticed a -0.71% decrease, the non-metropolitan urban areas saw a smaller decrease of -0.16%. 

The Producer Price Index data shows that prices in the United States have increased from May 2016 to May 2017 for aircraft (0.7 percent), crude petroleum (7.0 percent), natural gas (61.1 percent), and slaughter livestock (1.4%). During that same time period, the index decreased sorghum (-6.6 percent) and wheat (-4.6 percent).

Access this slide presentation.

Learn more about the CPI.

Learn more about the PPI.

Kansas Manufacturing: Chemical Product Manufacturing

Kansas Chemical Product Manufacturing EmploymentThe chemical manufacturing subsector includes companies whose operations are based on the transformation of organic and inorganic raw materials by a chemical process and the formulation of products. This subsector distinguishes the production of basic chemicals from the production of intermediate and end products produced by further processing of basic chemicals.

In Kansas, chemical product manufacturing is a high-wage industry with generally slow employment growth. There are seven establishments in the state with over 250 employees, while 40 percent of the establishments have between ten and 50 employees.

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Kansas Cost of Living Housing Index, 2016 Average

Cost of Living Less in WichitaThe Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. 

The three Kansas metropolitan areas included in the index averaged 25.6 percent below the national average when weighted by population.

Read more.

To subscribe to the Cost of Living Index report, or to learn more about The Council for Community and Economic Research, visit their website.

Misery Index Up from 2016

Misery Index in KansasBetween the fourth quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2017, the general level of misery experienced by people in the United States and Kansas increased but remained below the 2016 level. This can be attributed to a small decrease in housing prices, increased inflation, and an increase in the unemployment rate.

Within each of the metropolitan areas in Kansas, the level of misery is mixed.

The Misery Index, as calculated by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR), includes the following components:

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • The House Price Index (HPI) from the Federal Housing Finance Agency
  • Unemployment Rates (UR) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read the complete first quarter report.

 

Profile of Unemployment Insurance Beneficiaries in Wichita, 1st Quarter 2017

Unemployment Insurance Wichita KansasThere was an average of 13,872 unemployed people in the Wichita metropolitan area in the first quarter of 2017, approximately 41 percent of whom collected unemployment insurance benefits.  In the first quarter of 2017, there were approximately 5,692 people, age 16 and over, who collected unemployment insurance benefits. That is a decrease of approximately 16 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016.

In the first quarter of 2017, there were approximately 5,692 people, age 16 and over, who collected unemployment insurance benefits. That is a decrease of approximately 16 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016.

Read the full Wichita unemployment insurance beneficiaries report.
 

Kansas Gap Analysis: Lawn & Garden Store Sales

The lawn and garden store sector includes stores that primarily sell nursery or garden products that are grown elsewhere and stores that primarily sell outdoor lawn and garden power equipment.

  • Total lawn and garden store employment in Kansas was approximately 2,300 in 2013, with employment of five in the median county in the state in this sector. Johnson County, Sedgwick County, and Riley County had the highest total employment and sales in the sector in the state.
     
  • Thirty-one Kansas counties were identified as not having any establishments classified as lawn and garden store establishments in the dataset, which could indicate either a lack of these stores in those areas, or establishments classified in another retail sector could also be providing lawn and garden products. Twenty-six of these counties had a population less than 5,000 people.

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Kansas Age-Reweighted Employment - Population Ratio

Misery Index in KansasIn both Kansas and the United States, both the employment-population ratio and labor force participation rate have declined sharply during the recession in 2008, and the ratio has remained well below pre-recession levels for both geographies.

  • The age-reweighted employment-population ratio for Kansas fell by 1.9 percent from 2005 to 2015.
  • Almost all of the decline in the U.S. employment-population ratio from 2005 to 2015 can be explained by changing age demographics, while changing age demographics can only explain half of the decline in Kansas’ employment-population ratio.
  • The reweighted employment-population ratio of other Midwestern states such as Iowa and Nebraska tended to outperform the national average from 2005 to 2015, while Kansas’ did not.

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Kansas Population Forecast: U.S. Comparison

The U.S. Census Bureau has published their population projections for the entire United States from 2015 to 2060 , and they project that the United States population will grow from 321.4 million to 416.8 million in that period. This represents 29.6 percent growth for the U.S. population, which is projected to expand more rapidly than the Kansas population.

Both the Kansas and the U.S. populations are projected to have positive growth rates throughout this period, with growth generally slowing over much of this period as well.

Read the complete article.
 

YouTube, Kansas Population Forecast