New business filings are classified as entities that have filed the appropriate forms with the Kansas Secretary of State that declare the formation of a new business unit. This includes for-profit, non-profit and professional corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. It does not include entities operating as a sole proprietorship or a “doing business as” (DBA). While recognizing these numbers can’t provide a complete picture of Kansas’s economic climate, they are an important indicator of economic activity
Between 2010 and 2017, there was an average of 15,723 new business entities established in Kansas each year. The number of filings was over 16,000 in 2010 and 2011 and have been below that level over the past five years, with significant declines in the number of filings in 2012 and 2013.
The Council for Community and Economic Research released its annual Cost of Living Index for 269 urban areas. CEDBR is continuing its analysis of the components of the index by examining the housing component of the index. Wichita’s overall Housing Index value was 28.9 percentage points below the national average value of 100. The most expensive urban area to live was Manhattan, NY with an Index value 394.6percentage points above the national average. The least expensive urban area was Ashland, OH which was nearly 42 percentage points below the national average. Read the full analysis.
To subscribe to the Cost of Living Index report, or to learn more about The Council for Community and Economic Research, visit their website.
Kansas Gap Analysis: Lawn and Garden Stores
CEDBR, as part of research on Kansas’ retail and service sector gaps, has analyzed sales in the lawn and garden store sector in every county throughout Kansas. The ratio is constructed as the total lawn and garden sales in each county, divided by the average lawn and garden store sales of their peer counties, in terms of population. A ratio larger than 100 indicates that a county has more lawn and garden store sector sales than its peers, while a ratio less than 100 indicates that a county has less lawn and garden store sector sales than its peers.
Phillips County and Bourbon County are the Kansas counties with the highest peer sales ratio for lawn and garden stores, the only counties in Kansas with sales over five times as high as the average of their peer counties.
Kansas government employed an average of 255,700 people in 2017, a decrease of 500 jobs from the 2016 average. This continues the trend of declining government employment since its last peak in 2010 with just over 262,000 jobs.
The majority of government jobs in Kansas were at the local level with approximately 179,000, just over two-thirds of total government employment. The rest of government jobs were at the federal level with 21,000, and the state level with just over 51,000. State level jobs have declined since 2010, while federal level jobs were fairly constant the past few years. Overall local government jobs remained fairly constant at around 180,000.
For the Second Annual Center for Economic Development and Business Research S&P 500 Prediction Challenge, WSU students provided predictions of the value of the S&P 500 stock market index on August 31st, 2018. As of March 1st, the closing date for entries for the challenge, the S&P 500 stock index closed at 2,677.67 index points after increasing 12.3 percent in the past year. The average prediction by the WSU students for August 31st was 2849 index points, an increase of 6 percent over six months.
Almost 70 percent of the entries forecast the index to increase in the next six months, ranging from predictions of increases of 1.4 percent to a 30.7 percent. The entries forecasting a drop in the index ranged from a 3.1 percent decline to an 11.5 percent decline. The median prediction of the students was for the index to rise 212 points in the next six months, for an increase of 7.9 percent. On average, the student entries were more bullish in their predictions for the market than analysts at major banks such as Goldman Sachs, Citibank, and Bank of America; the consensus 2018 forecast among analysts was for the market to grow approximately 4 percent over that six month period.
The entry closest to the actual closing value on August 31st, 2018 will be recognized on stage at the 2018 Kansas Economic Outlook Conference on October 4th, 2018 at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita.
2018 Q1 Unemployment Insurance Benefits
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines an unemployed person as one 16 years and older having no employment and having made specific efforts to find employment in the past four weeks. By this definition, there was an average of 11,907 unemployed people in the Wichita metropolitan area in the first quarter of 2018, approximately 42 percent of whom collected unemployment insurance benefits.
In the first quarter of 2018, there were approximately 4,986 people, age 16 and over, who collected unemployment insurance benefits. That is a 17 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2017. The Kansas Department of Labor has provided data on these unemployment insurance beneficiaries, including the industry from which they were separated.
From January 2018 to February 2018, the WSU Current Index declined, while the Leading Index increased.
The U.S. and Midwest inflation rates both decresed from February 2018 to March 2018
The unemployment rate for Kansas, as a whole, increased from January 2018 to February 2018. The Wichita, Topeka, and Lawrence MSAs all had an increase in the unemployment rate. The Manhattan MSA held steady at 2.9%.
Current Unemployment Rate
According to a new Bureau of Labor Statistics longitudinal study of people born between 1980-1984, people with higher educational attainment are employed more often, on average, than those with lower levels of educational attainment.