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eConnection (April 2017)
Kansas Manufacturing: Food Manufacturing
Industries in the Food Manufacturing subsector transform livestock and agricultural products into products for consumption. The industry groups are distinguished by the raw materials they process.
In Kansas, food manufacturing is generally a low-wage industry with relatively stable employment. Over the past decade employment in this industry has averaged about 31,000 workers, and in 2015, was less than one percent below 2005 levels. Wages are generally below the state average for manufacturing.
The legal services sector includes offices of certified public accountants, tax preparation services, billing services, payroll services, and other accountants’ offices. CEDBR, as part of research on Kansas’ retail and service sector gaps, has analyzed sales in the accounting services sector in every county throughout Kansas.
Total accounting services employment in Kansas was approximately 6,900 in 2013, with employment of 10 in the median county in the state in this sector. Johnson County, Sedgwick County, and Shawnee County had the highest total employment and sales in the sector in the state.
43 Kansas counties had a peer sales ratio between 50 and 150 percent for the accounting services sector, while 42 had a peer sales ratio less than 50 percent. This suggests that the accounting services sector is relatively concentrated in Kansas, with a small number of counties having an outsized number of accountants and related services relative to the rest of the state. 32 Kansas counties had five or fewer workers in this sector in 2013.
The Council for Community and Economic Research released its annual Cost of Living Index for 273 urban areas. Wichita’s overall Index value was nearly 8.2 percent below the national average of 100. The most expensive urban area in which to live was New York (Manhattan), N.Y., with an Index value more than twice that of the national average. The least expensive urban area was McAllen, Texas, which was nearly 24 percent below the national average.
To subscribe to the Cost of Living Index report, or to learn more about The Council for Community and Economic Research, visit their website.
WIRE: An insightful exchange on the Creative Class
The Annual Wichita Industry Research Exchange (WIRE) took place on the morning of Wednesday, April 5th at the Holiday Inn in East Wichita. The event brought together Wichita State University scholars and local industry experts to address the importance of retaining the region's Creative Class and its affect on regional growth.
Dr. Timothy Craft presented his research on the Creative Class in growing cities around the country, comparing these growing workforces to that of the Wichita-area. He shared the three key components (as defined by Richard Florida) for retaining Creative Class workers, including: talent, technology, and tolerance. In his final comments, Dr. Craft highlighted the importance of Wichita building connections between industry and academic research, keeping university graduates in Wichita, building on a low cost of living, and retaining an artistic community, with openness to new ideas.
Next, Dr. Arwiphawee (Sai) Srithongrung shared her research regarding the importance of a city's investment in the artistic community. She concluded that both arts and culture serve dual roles in the local economy: exporting goods and services to outsiders and increasing quality of life to attract knowledge-class workers.
After a brief break, the event continued with a panel discussion involving several local employers and industry experts, which included: Jennifer Rygg of Rygg Design, Jeff Weiford of GLMV Architecture, Jennifer Hughes of High Touch Technologies, and Leah Lavender of the Greater Wichita Partnership. This panel, led by WSU professor Dr. Gery Markova, addressed new and changing demands often seen in this class of workers and how employers can be flexible in responding to these new demands.
Tune in to recordings of this event on WSU-TV on the following dates/times:
April 20 7pm
April 21 2pm, 7pm
April 22 2pm, 10pm
April 23 1pm, 7pm
April 24 9am, 2pm
September 2016 to October 2016, Current & Leading Indices increased. *This is the most current indices information available. More up-to-date indices data will be available in May.
The U.S. and Midwest inflation rates both increased from January 2017 to February 2017.
The unemployment rate for Kansas, as a whole, decreased from January 2017 to February 2017. While the Wichita MSA remained constant, Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan saw a decrease of 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points respectively.
Current Unemployment Rate
Center for Economic Development and Business Research
1845 Fairmount | Wichita, KS 67260-0121 | Phone: (316) 978-3225 | FAX: (316) 978-3950 | CEDBR@wichita.edu