Topeka Employment Forecast
Released January 6, 2023 (See previous version)
The Topeka metropolitan area’s* employment grew by 1,317 employees in 2021, an expansion of 1.2%. Unfortunately, Topeka did not experience the same employment growth seen across the nation or in Kansas in the first half of 2022. The market declined by 0.2%, accounting for a loss of 175 jobs. Most of that loss was within the first quarter, as the Topeka market had month-over-month growth through August 2022.
Although there are broad concerns within the national and global markets, the spillover effect from the more optimistic outlooks of manufacturing, agriculture, and energy will likely help bolster the Topeka Market in 2023. As a result, the employment outlook is for 0.3% growth next year and an acceleration of 0.5% in 2024.
The majority of growth within the production sector is expected to be within durable goods manufacturing, with an increase of 0.4%. The non-durables manufacturing sector, which has been expanding, is expected to cool off due to weakening demand and inflation. The natural resources, mining, and construction sector is expected to flat slightly in 2023, as home price appreciation and consumer sentiment will weigh on the construction sector.
Employment in the trade, transportation, and utilities is projected to decline by 0.5%, a loss of 87 jobs in 2023. Retail trade will likely make up most of that loss, which is due to changing consumer behavior and weakening purchasing power due to inflation. Transportation and utilities are forecast to slow down because of the broader economic conditions.
The service sectors are expected to account for almost all of the growth in 2023, adding just under 323 jobs. The driver for the increase stems from the shift from latent growth in financial and health services and the changing consumer behaviors. Leisure & hospitality account for the later shift, as consumers are spending less on retail and dining out more. The information sector, which is an agglomeration of news, data hosting, telecommunication, and publishing industries, is expected to decline by 0.6%, accounting for a loss of 5 jobs.
The labor market conditions for households remain robust, as employers continued to add jobs in 2023, and is anticipated to expand by 0.3% in 2023. The growth will put further pressure on the market and will likely decrease unemployment over the next two years.
*The Topeka metropolitan area consists of Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, Shawnee, and Wabaunsee counties.
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