• Topeka
  • Wichita
  • Kansas City
  • Kansas

Topeka Employment Forecast

Released January 5, 2021 (See previous version)

The Topeka metropolitan area’s employment declined by 400 workers in 2019, the area’s third consecutive year without an increase in employment.  Despite the employment decline, the area’s unemployment rate to 3.3 percent.  In the second quarter of 2020, employment declined by 7,900 workers, a 7.1 percent decrease.  The economy began to rebound in the third quarter of 2020, adding 3,100 jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped by 3.2 percentage points to 6.3 percent.

The recovery is forecast to continue in the fourth quarter of 2020 and into 2021 at a more modest pace. The average employment growth for 2021 is projected to be 0.7 percent, which would recover more than 700 of the almost 4,000 jobs lost in 2020.  Economic uncertainty will remain high for the near future with uncertain timing of the full coronavirus vaccine rollout and uncertainty in national macroeconomic conditions.  If the national recovery is in the upper range of expectations, local employment is projected to increase by 0.9 percent.  A slower than expected national recovery would reduce growth expectations for Topeka to 0.5 percent. 

  • The goods-producing sectors are forecast to grow 1 percent, adding more than 100 jobs.  The manufacturing sector is expected to lead growth at 1.2 percent, following modest growth in 2020 as the nondurable goods manufacturing that comprises the vast majority of the area’s manufacturing was relatively unaffected by the novel coronavirus recession.  The construction sector is projected to grow 0.6 percent after declining by 3 percent in 2020.
  • Employment in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector is forecast to remain approximately flat as growth in retail trade is offset by declines in the wholesale trade and transportation and utilities sectors.  The retail trade sector is expected to grow 1.7 percent and recover approximately half of the employment lost in 2020.  The wholesale trade sector and the transportation and utilities sectors are projected to decline by 2.7 and 2.8 percent, respectively.
  • Service sector growth is expected to be the fastest in the local economy at 1.8 percent.  The leisure and hospitality sector is forecast to lead service sector growth at 5 percent, adding almost 400 workers after experiencing the sharpest decline in the coronavirus recession.  The education and health services sector is projected to recover more than 300 jobs and be fewer than 200 jobs below its 2019 peak.  The other service and financial activities are projected to grow 2.8 and 0.7 percent respectively and remain modestly below their 2019 employment peaks.  The information sector is the only service sector projected to decline in employment, with a projected decline of fewer than 100 workers.
  • The government sector is projected to decline by more than 300 jobs, a contraction of 1.2 percent.  Both the local government and state government sectors are forecast to decrease by more than 100 jobs, while employment in the federal government sector is expected to remain relatively flat.
     

*The Topeka metropolitan area consists of Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, Shawnee, and Wabaunsee counties in Kansas.

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Topeka Employment by Industry Summary*
2019 (a) 2020 (e) 2021 (f) 2020-2021
Level Change
2020-2021 Percent Change
Total Nonfarm 111,564 107,600 108,363 763 0.70%
Production Sectors 13,415 12,937 13,062 125 1.00%
  Nat. Resources, Mining & Cons. 5,392 4,861 4,889 28 0.60%
  Manufacturing 8,024 8,076 8,173 97 1.20%
Trade, Transportation & Utilities 16,807 16,407 16,396 -12 -0.10%
  Wholesale Trade 2,675 2,563 2,493 -70 -2.70%
  Retail Trade 10,332 9,992 10,158 166 1.70%
  Transportation & Utilities 3,800 3,852 3,745 -107 -2.80%
Service Sectors 54,633 52,343 53,310 966 1.80%
  Information 1,333 1,288 1,223 -65 -5.00%
  Financial Activities 7,692 7,578 7,630 51 0.70%
  Professional & Business Services 12,952 12,590 12,718 129 1.00%
  Education & Health Services 19,134 18,631 18,968 337 1.80%
  Leisure & Hospitality 8,797 7,806 8,194 388 5.00%
  Other Services 4,724 4,450 4,576 126 2.80%
Government 26,709 25,912 25,596 -316 -1.20%
*Annual values are derived from average quarterly observations and projections.
(a) actual (e) estimated (f) forecasted
Source: CEDBR, BLS - CES

  

 

 

 

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Wichita Employment Forecast

Released January 5, 2021 (See previous version)

Employment in the Wichita metropolitan area grew 1.8 percent to 305,100 workers in 2019, while the unemployment rate reached a twenty-year low of 3.4 percent.  With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in April 2020, unemployment spiked to 17.7 percent, and employment declined by more than 27,000 workers in the second quarter.  The economy began to recover in the third quarter with the addition of 10,400 jobs.  The unemployment rate declined to 9.8 percent in the third quarter, a level approximately as high as Wichita’s peak unemployment in the 2009 recession, before declining to 6.8 percent in October 2020.

The recovery is expected to continue on a more modest scale with continued job growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 and into 2021.  Average employment growth is forecast to be 0.7 percent in 2021, which would add more than 2,000 jobs back to the Wichita economy.  This will likely remain a volatile time for the Wichita economy throughout 2021 due to the continuing coronavirus outbreak, the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, and high economic uncertainty both in the national macroeconomy and the aerospace industry.  If the national recovery and vaccine have effects on the high end of expectations, Wichita’s growth is expected to grow up to 1.4 percent.  If the national recovery is more modest or downside risks are realized, Wichita’s employment is projected to remain close to flat in 2021.  A full recovery from the coronavirus recession across all local industries is expected to take years.

  • Production sector employment is projected to contract by 1.7 percent due to job losses in the manufacturing sector.  The durable goods manufacturing sector is expected to decline by more than 1,400 jobs due to continued weakness in demand in the aerospace sector.  Since air travel was so highly impacted by the novel coronavirus outbreak, Wichita’s durable goods manufacturing is expected to lag the national manufacturing recovery.  The non-durable sector is forecast to grow 0.8 percent, and the construction sector is projected to lead the good-producing sector growth at 1.5 percent.
  • The trade, transportation, and utilities sector is expected to grow 1.7 percent in employment in 2021, recovering more than three-quarters of the employment lost in 2020.  The largest gains are expected in the retail trade sector, which is projected to add more than 700 jobs.  The transportation and utilities sector is forecast to grow 2.4 percent and reach a new peak in 2021, while the wholesale trade sector is expected to continue to contract modestly. 
  • Employment in the service sector is expected to have the fastest growth in the Wichita economy, expanding 1.8 percent.  The leisure and hospitality sector and the education and health services sector are expected to have the fastest growth at 4.6 and 2.9 percent, respectively.  The financial activities, professional and business services, and other services sectors are projected to remain relatively flat in 2021 after experiencing relatively few job losses in 2020.  The information sector is the only service sector forecast to contract significantly, losing more than 100 jobs.
  • The government sector is projected to remain relatively flat in 2021, gaining fewer than 100 jobs.  The local government sector is expected to experience very modest job losses, while federal government employment is projected to have small growth.

*The Wichita metropolitan consists of Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey, Kingman, and Sumner counties.

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Wichita Employment by Industry Summary*
2019 (a) 2020 (e) 2021 (f) 2020-2021
Level Change
2020-2021 Percent Change
Total Nonfarm 305,027 293,304 295,492 2,188 0.70%
Production Sectors 71,671 67,052 65,912 -1,140 -1.70%
  Nat. Resources, Mining & Cons. 16,672 15,956 16,198 242 1.50%
  Manufacturing 54,999 51,097 49,715 -1,382 -2.70%
    Durable Goods 46,816 42,896 41,452 -1,444 -3.40%
    Non-Durable Goods 8,183 8,200 8,262 62 0.80%
Trade, Transportation & Utilities 50,354 49,289 50,110 821 1.70%
  Wholesale Trade 8,758 8,403 8,259 -144 -1.70%
  Retail Trade 31,562 30,683 31,406 723 2.40%
  Transportation & Utilities 10,034 10,203 10,445 242 2.40%
Service Sectors 141,237 136,229 138,711 2,482 1.80%
  Information 3,908 3,578 3,444 -134 -3.80%
  Financial Activities 11,664 11,595 11,609 14 0.10%
  Professional & Business Services 35,266 35,371 35,294 -77 -0.20%
  Education & Health Services 46,549 46,221 47,545 1,324 2.90%
  Leisure & Hospitality 33,089 28,951 30,280 1,329 4.60%
  Other Services 10,761 10,514 10,539 25 0.20%
Government 41,765 40,734 40,759 25 0.10%
*Annual values are derived from average quarterly observations and projections.
(a) actual (e) estimated  (f) forecasted
Source: CEDBR, BLS - CES

  


 

 

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Kansas City Employment Forecast

Released  January 5, 2021 (See previous version)

Total employment in the Kansas City, MO-KS, metropolitan area1 grew 0.8 percent in 2019 with the addition of 8,500 workers, while the unemployment rate reached 3.3 percent, the lowest level for the metro area in twenty years.  Employment decreased by 99,600 jobs in the second quarter of 2020 during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, followed by a recovery in the third quarter of 49,400 jobs.  The unemployment rate remained elevated at 6.6 percent in the third quarter.

The recovery is expected to continue at a slower pace in the fourth quarter of 2020 and into 2021.  The average expected growth for 2021 is forecast to be 1.3 percent, adding more than 14,100 jobs to the local economy but still more than 32,000 jobs below its 2019 peak.  The exact pace of the local recovery is especially uncertain due to both the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in 2021 as well as uncertainty at the national and international macroeconomic level.  If the national recovery and vaccine rollout are at the upper end of expectations, employment growth expectations would increase to 1.7 percent, while the lower end of national expectations would reduce employment growth expectations to 1 percent.

  • Employment in the production sectors is expected to grow 1.1 percent, adding more than 1,400 jobs.  The growth is projected to be broad-based, with both the construction and manufacturing sectors growing by 1 percent or more.  The construction sector grew even through the novel coronavirus outbreak in 2020, and growth is expected to slow modestly in the sector in 2021.  The manufacturing sector is projected to remain below its 2019 peak even after adding more than 700 jobs in 2021.
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities sector employment is projected to recover by 1.5 percent, adding back more than 3,300 of the 4,100 jobs lost in 2020.  The retail trade sector is expected to lead the recovery with 2.8 percent growth, adding more than 3,000 jobs, while the transportation and utilities sector is forecast to grow 1.3 percent.  Employment in the wholesale trade sector is expected to decline by 0.9 percent.
  • The service sectors are forecast to increase by 1.5 percent and account for the majority of the area’s employment increase in 2021.  The leisure and hospitality sector was the hardest hit in the coronavirus recession and is expected to have the largest recovery at 4.6 percent growth.  The professional and business services sector and the education and health services sector are each projected to grow by more than 1 percent, collectively adding more than 4,000 jobs.  The information sector is the only service sector forecast to decline in employment in 2021, with an expected contraction of almost 800 workers.
  • The government sector is expected to grow 0.6 percent, adding almost 900 jobs.  This growth is forecast to be concentrated in local and federal government employment, while state government employment is projected to contract modestly.

*The Kansas City, MO-KS, metropolitan area includes Bates, Caldwell, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Jackson, Lafayette, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri and Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.

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Kansas City Employment by Industry Summary*
2019 (a) 2020 (e) 2021 (f) 2020-2021
Level Change
2020-2021 Percent Change
Total Nonfarm 1,095,990 1,053,413 1,067,557 14,145 1.30%
Production Sectors 130,525 130,479 131,963 1,484 1.10%
  Nat. Resources, Mining & Cons. 52,879 55,685 56,402 718 1.30%
  Manufacturing 77,646 74,794 75,561 767 1.00%
Trade, Transportation & Utilities 218,601 214,557 217,879 3,322 1.50%
  Wholesale Trade 52,041 50,381 49,908 -473 -0.90%
  Retail Trade 110,014 108,362 111,419 3,057 2.80%
  Transportation & Utilities 56,547 55,814 56,553 739 1.30%
Service Sectors 598,382 559,980 568,419 8,439 1.50%
  Information 16,101 15,128 14,337 -791 -5.20%
  Financial Activities 78,734 75,922 76,240 317 0.40%
  Professional & Business Services 191,856 184,904 186,738 1,834 1.00%
  Education & Health Services 156,649 151,762 153,884 2,123 1.40%
  Leisure & Hospitality 112,227 91,035 95,243 4,209 4.60%
  Other Services 42,814 41,230 41,977 747 1.80%
Government 148,482 148,397 149,296 899 0.60%
*Annual values are derived from average quarterly observations and projections.
(a) actual (e) estimated  (f) forecasted
Source: CEDBR, BLS - CES

  


 

 

 

 

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Kansas Employment Forecast

Released January 5, 2021  (See previous version)

Total employment in Kansas increased to 1,423,200 workers in 2019, with 0.5 percent growth, as unemployment declined 3.2 percent, its lowest level since 1978.  Nine consecutive years of declines in unemployment ended in the second quarter of 2020, as employment fell 8 percent in the second quarter of 2020.  This was the single largest one-quarter employment contraction in state history, with a reduction in employment of more than 113,000 workers.  The unemployment rate rose from 2.9 percent in March 2020 to 11.9 percent in April 2020.  In the third quarter of 2020, employment began to rebound, adding more than 45,000 jobs while the unemployment rate declined to 6.7 percent.

Employment is expected to recover more modestly in the fourth quarter of 2020 and into 2021.   Economic uncertainty will remain high statewide in 2021 until the vaccine to the novel coronavirus is administered to the full population, leading to expectations of muted economic recovery throughout the year.  The economy remains especially vulnerable to downside risks during uncertain times, and macroeconomic conditions will likely continue to be more volatile than normal even after the vaccine is introduced.  Kansas’ average employment increase is projected to be 0.7 percent in 2021, adding almost 10,000 jobs.  This growth, plus the third and fourth quarter growth in 2020, would recover approximately half of the employment lost during the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus.  A faster than expected national recovery could boost Kansas’ growth to a projected 1 percent, while a sluggish national recovery could reduce Kansas’ growth in half to 0.4 percent.

  • Kansas’ production sectors are forecast to decline in employment by 0.2 percent in 2021.  The construction sector, which remained robust in 2020, is expected to grow 1 percent and exceed its 2019 peak.  In the manufacturing sector, nondurable goods employment is projected to grow 1.6 percent, but this is expected to be more than offset by a decline of 2.5 percent in the durable goods sector.  Kansas’ durable goods sector is especially vulnerable to slow national macroeconomic conditions due to its high concentration in the aerospace industry, which is expected to continue to struggle as civilian aircraft demand remains low.
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities employment is projected to expand 1.4 percent, adding more than 3,700 jobs.  The retail trade sector is forecast to recover its 2020 losses with 1.8 percent growth, while the wholesale trade sector is projected to decline modestly.  The transportation and utilities sector is expected to be the leader for the industry, growing 2.4 percent and expanding well beyond its 2019 levels as Kansas becomes a more important distribution hub in Midwestern and national logistics networks.
  • The service sector had the sharpest contraction during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and is projected to lead the recovery in 2021, growing 1.6 percent and adding almost 10,000 jobs.  The leisure and hospitality sector is projected to grow 4.7 percent, the fastest growth of any single sector in Kansas after declining by more than 13 percent in 2020.  The other service sector bright spot is expected to be the education and health services, which is expected to recover all but 2,000 of the 6,200 jobs it lost in 2020.  The professional and business service sector and other service sector are both projected to add between 800 and 1,100 jobs in 2021, while the information and financial activities sectors are expected to continue to decline in employment.
  • The government sector is forecast to contract by approximately 1.7 percent, a decline of more than 4,100 workers.  The contraction is projected to be most severe in the local and state government sectors due to projected revenue reductions from retail sales taxes and other revenue sources.

 

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Kansas Employment by Industry Summary*
2019 (a) 2020 (e) 2021 (f) 2020-2021
Level Change
2020-2021 Percent Change
Total Nonfarm 1,422,979 1,369,229 1,378,315 9,087 0.70%
Production Sectors 237,381 230,075 229,608 -467 -0.20%
  Nat. Resources, Mining & Cons. 70,249 70,068 70,764 696 1.00%
  Manufacturing 167,133 160,007 158,844 -1,163 -0.70%
    Durable Goods 99,750 91,943 89,685 -2,259 -2.50%
    Non-Durable Goods 67,383 68,064 69,159 1,095 1.60%
Trade, Transportation & Utilities 267,034 264,824 268,592 3,768 1.40%
  Wholesale Trade 58,052 56,050 55,669 -381 -0.70%
  Retail Trade 142,080 140,351 142,886 2,535 1.80%
  Transportation & Utilities 66,902 68,423 70,037 1,614 2.40%
Service Sectors 658,576 622,511 632,462 9,951 1.60%
  Information 18,132 16,618 15,674 -943 -5.70%
  Financial Activities 77,321 75,695 75,084 -611 -0.80%
  Professional & Business Services 178,971 173,195 174,242 1,047 0.60%
  Education & Health Services 202,001 195,842 200,148 4,306 2.20%
  Leisure & Hospitality 130,456 113,344 118,677 5,334 4.70%
  Other Services 51,695 47,817 48,635 819 1.70%
Government 259,988 251,818 247,654 -4,165 -1.70%
*Annual values are derived from average quarterly observations and projections.
(a) actual (e) estimated (f) forecasted
Source: CEDBR, BLS - CES

  


 

   

 

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