• 2018 Kansas Outlook
  • 2018 Wichita Outlook
  • 2018 Topeka Outlook
  • 2018 Kansas City Oulook

Kansas Employment Forecast

Released May 23, 2018 (See previous version.)

In 2017, Kansas employment declined by 0.1 percent, a decrease of approximately 500 jobs.  In 2018, Kansas total nonfarm employment is projected to increase by 0.6 percent, adding approximately 9,000 jobs, with a range of expected growth between 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent.  This growth is projected to be higher than Kansas’ employment growth from 2016 and 2017, but still lower than the average growth from 2012 to 2014.

  • Production sector employment is projected to remain approximately flat in 2018, adding less than 100 jobs.  The natural resources, mining and construction sector is forecast to decline by almost 300 jobs, while the manufacturing sector is projected to grow by over 300 jobs.  Natural resources and construction employment has declined in each of the past three years and remains over 7,000 jobs below its 2008 peak.
  • The trade, transportation and utilities sector is forecast to add over 700 jobs and grow 0.3 percent.  The transportation and utilities sector is projected to lead this growth, expanding 1.2 percent, with the wholesale trade sector growing 0.3 percent.  The retail trade sector is projected to lag behind, with a 0.1 percent decline.  This is a reflection of the continued weakness in retail sales in Kansas.  In 2017, inflation-adjusted taxable retail sales for the state declined 2.4 percent.
  • The service sectors are projected to lead growth in Kansas in 2018, as they have done in recent years.  Growth in the overall service sector is expected to grow 1.2 percent in 2018, adding over 8,000 jobs.  The two fastest growing service sectors are forecast to be the professional business services sector and the education and health services sector, each of which is projected to add over 3,000 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector is also expected to grow over 1,700 jobs in 2018.  The drivers for the growth in these three sectors are expected to be broader national growth for service industries, Kansas’ aging population, and changing consumer preferences.  The information and other services sectors are collectively projected to lose 600 jobs.
  • The government sector is expected to expand 0.1 percent, adding almost 200 jobs.  This growth is projected to be primarily concentrated in the local government sector, while state and federal government employment is expected to remain flat.
  • The Kansas City MSA is expected to grow faster than the Kansas state average, expanding 1.6 percent, while the Topeka and Wichita MSAs are projected to grow at 0.4 percent.

Nationally, real GDP grew 2.3 percent in 2017, which was primarily driven by increases in personal consumption expenditures and private investment.  National employment increased by 1.6 percent in 2017.

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Wichita Employment Forecast

Released May 23, 2018  (See previous version.)

 

In 2017, total non-farm employment in the Wichita metropolitan area contracted by 0.9 percent, a decline of 2,500 jobs.  In 2018, Wichita employment is forecast to increase by approximately 1,200 jobs, growing 0.4 percent, with an expected growth range between 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent. While this is expected to be higher than Wichita’s 2017 employment growth, it is still projected to be lower than growth in the area from 2012 to 2016, which averaged 0.8 percent.

  • The production sectors are projected to remain approximately flat in 2018.  Natural resources and construction employment is forecast to increase by less than 100 jobs while manufacturing employment is projected to decline by less than 100 jobs.
  • The trade, transportation and utilities sector is forecast to increase by 0.4 percent. Job gains are expected to be concentrated in the transportation and utilities sector, while the retail trade and wholesale trade sectors are predicted to have modest employment declines.
  • The service sectors are expected to have the fastest employment growth in 2018, expanding by 0.7 percent.   This growth is projected to be largely concentrated in the leisure and hospitality sector, which is forecast to increase by 2.2 percent, adding over 700 jobs. The professional and business services sector and education and health services sector are both projected to increase by approximately 100 jobs.
  • Government employment is expected to add over 100 jobs in 2018, expanding by 0.3 percent.  This growth is predicted to be focused in the local government sector, while federal and state government employment are forecast to remain relatively flat.

Nationally, real GDP grew 2.3 percent in 2017, which was primarily driven by increases in personal consumption expenditures and private investment.  National employment increased by 1.6 percent in 2017.

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Topeka Employment Forecast

Released May 23, 2018  

 

In 2017, total nonfarm employment in the Topeka metropolitan area declined by 0.7 percent, a loss of approximately 800 jobs.  In 2018, Topeka is forecast to add over 400 jobs with 0.4 percent growth.  The expected range of Topeka employment growth is predicted to be between zero and 0.6 percent. Topeka has averaged 0.4 percent growth annually from 2010 to 2017, with a low of -0.2 percent in 2011 and a high of 1.2 percent in 2014.

  • The production sectors are forecast to expand 0.7 percent, adding almost 100 new jobs.  These jobs are projected to be split evenly between the manufacturing sector and the natural resource and construction sector.
  • The trade, transportation and utilities sector is expected to remain relatively flat, adding less than 100 jobs.  Both the wholesale and retail trade sectors, along with the transportation and utilities sector, are all forecast to have increases or decreases in employment of fewer than 100 jobs.  After adjusting for inflation, taxable retail sales are projected to decline by 1.3 percent in 2018, following a 2.6 percent decline in 2017.
  • The service sectors are projected to add 400 new jobs and grow 0.7 percent.  This growth is predicted to be heavily concentrated in the education and health services sector and the leisure and hospitality sector, which are projected to grow 1.2 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.  In recent years, the professional and business services sector had been the fastest growing part of the Topeka economy, but in 2018 that sector is expected to have more muted growth, adding less than 100 new jobs.
  • Government employment is expected to contract by approximately 100 jobs.  State and federal employment are projected to decline, while local government employment is predicted to increase by less than 100 jobs.

Nationally, real GDP grew 2.3 percent in 2017, which was primarily driven by increases in personal consumption expenditures and private investment.  National employment increased by 1.6 percent in 2017.

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Kansas City Employment Forecast

Released May 23, 2018  

 

In 2017, total non-farm employment in the Kansas City, MO-KS metropolitan area expanded by 1.3 percent, an increase of 16,500 jobs.  In 2018, Kansas City employment is forecast to increase by approximately 14,000 jobs, growing 1.3 percent, with an expected growth range between 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent. This growth is projected to be slightly lower than the Kansas City area’s employment growth from 2010 to 2017, which averaged 1.7 percent annually.

  • The production sectors are projected to grow modestly in 2018, expanding 0.2 percent.  Natural resources and construction employment is forecast to grow by over 1,200 jobs, but this is expected to be largely offset by a decline of approximately 900 jobs in the manufacturing sector.
  • The trade, transportation and utilities sector is expected to increase by 0.4 percent, adding over 2,500 jobs.  The job gains are projected to be shared by the wholesale trade sector and the transportation and utilities sector, while the retail trade sector is predicted to decline 0.2 percent.  Taxable retail sales growth is expected to be modest, growing approximately 0.7 percent after adjusting for inflation.
  • The service sectors are projected to grow by 1.7 percent in 2018, adding over 9,000 jobs.  Service sector growth is expected to account for approximately two-thirds of total job growth in the metro area, despite only representing half of the total jobs in the area.   Service sector employment has grown faster than the overall average for the Kansas City area in five of the past seven years.  Growth in 2018 is expected to be primarily concentrated in the professional and business services sector, the financial activities sector, and the education and health services sector.
  • Government employment is forecast to grow 1 percent, adding over 1,400 jobs in 2018.  This growth is expected to be focused largely at the local level, while state and federal government are predicted to remain relatively flat.

Nationally, real GDP grew 2.3 percent in 2017, which was primarily driven by increases in personal consumption expenditures and private investment.  National employment increased by 1.6 percent in 2017.

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