• Kansas
  • Wichita
  • Kansas City
  • Topeka

Kansas Employment Forecast

Released May 9, 2019  (See previous version.)

Employment grew in almost all sectors across the Kansas economy in 2018, leading to total nonfarm employment growth of 0.9 percent. This was a sizable improvement in employment compared to the near-zero employment growth statewide in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, the Kansas economy added more new jobs than in the previous three years combined. Kansas’ unemployment rate continued its eight year decline in 2018, reaching 3.4 percent, its lowest level since 1999. Initial unemployment insurance claims in Kansas reached their lowest level in more than 30 years in 2018, another sign of a tight labor market and growing economy. Nationally, the unemployment rate also continued its decline in 2018 to 3.9 percent. 

In Kansas, the economy is expected to add more than 12,000 new jobs in 2019 as employment grows by 0.9 percent. The production and service sectors are forecast to lead growth, while growth is the trade transportation and utilities sector and government sector are projected to be more modest

  • The production sectors grew strongly after three years of employment declines in Kansas, adding 4,400 new jobs in 2018. Growth is projected to continue into 2019 with 1.2 percent growth and approximately 2,900 new jobs added. Both the construction sector and the manufacturing sector are expected to continue robust growth in 2019. Manufacturing is projected to add more than 2,200 new jobs, while the construction sector is forecast to add more than 600. Both sectors had struggled in recent years, with job declines in each in 2015 and 2016.
  • Employment in the trade, transportation and utilities sector is forecast to expand by 0.5 percent in 2019, adding more than 1,300 jobs. Much of recent growth in the sector has been concentrated in the transportation and warehousing sector, which grew by more than 3,000 jobs in 2018. Retail trade employment declined each of the past two years in Kansas, while employment in wholesale trade has remained relatively flat. In 2019, employment is expected to grow robustly in the transportation sector, grow modestly in the wholesale trade sector, and decline in retail trade sector in Kansas.
  • Service sector employment is projected to increase 1.1 percent, which would almost 7,000 new jobs to the Kansas economy. Employment in every service sector in Kansas is projected to grow in 2019, except the information sector, which is expected to experience its twelfth consecutive  year of employment declines. The three fastest growing service sectors are projected to be professional and business services, education and health care services, and leisure and hospitality, each of which are forecast to add between 1,700 and 3,000 new jobs.
  • Government sector employment is projected to increase 0.3 percent in 2019, following an increase of 0.8 percent in 2018. The fastest growth is expected to be in the local government sector, which comprises approximately 70 percent of statewide government employment. Both state and federal government employment are forecast to increase by fewer than 100 jobs.
DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION

 

  


.

Wichita Employment Forecast

Released May 9, 2019  (See previous version.)

Total nonfarm employment in the Wichita metropolitan area* increased by approximately 3,500 workers in 2018, creating 1.2 percent growth in local workforce. This expansion was the fastest single-year growth in the area since 2008, a sharp turnaround from the modest employment contraction of 2017. Wichita’s unemployment rate declined 0.for the eighth consecutive year to 3.7 percent in 2018, the area’s lowest annual unemployment rate since 1999.

Wichita’s employment expansion is forecast to continue in 2019 with 0.9 percent employment growth, adding more than 2,700 new jobs to the metropolitan area.

  •  After employment declines in both 2016 and 2017, Wichita’s production sectors’ employment increased at their fastest rate since 2008 in 2018. Manufacturing employment increased by 1,800 jobs, with increases in both the durable goods and nondurable goods subsectors. Construction and mining employment grew by 2.5 percent in 2018, adding 400 jobs. With continued investment from local firms, expected, the manufacturing sector is projected to add an additional 1,000 new jobs in 2019. With continued positive signs in the local housing market, the construction sector is forecast to add more than 200 new jobs in 2019.
  • Wichita’s trade, transportation and utilities sector employment declined in 2017 and 2018, contracting by approximately 2,000 jobs. The retail trade sector experienced the bulk of the job losses with 1,100 jobs lost in that period. The transportation sector was the only trade and transportation subsector to gain jobs in 2018, growing 2.1 percent. Overall, the trade, transportation and utilities sector is projected to decline by 0.6 percent in 2019, which is forecast to contract by approximately 300 jobs, due in part to inflation-adjusted retail sales for the area expected to remain relatively flat.
  • After increasing by 1,100 jobs in 2018, Wichita’s service sectors are projected to add more than 1,300 new jobs in 2019. The leisure and hospitality sector is forecast to have the fastest growth at 1.8 percent, continuing the sector’s trend of growing fastest than the area’s average for each of the last eight years. The professional and business services sector and education and health care sector are expected to provide much of the rest of service sector job growth in 2019,  collectively adding almost 700 new jobs to the local economy. The information sector is the only service sector projected to experience an employment decline in 2019, contracting by less than one percent.
  • Wichita’s governmental sector is projected to add more than 400 jobs, with employment growing 1.1 percent. Employment is forecast to grow at the federal, state, and local levels, with the largest increase at the local level.

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

DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION

 

  


.

Kansas City Employment Forecast

Released  May 9, 2019  (See previous version.)

Total nonfarm employment in the Kansas City, MO-KS, metropolitan area* grew 1.1 percent with the addition of 11,800 new jobs in 2018. This was moderately lower than the area’s recent growth trend, which averaged more than 18,000 new jobs annually from 2012 to 2017, but still grew faster than the Missouri and Kansas state averages, as it has since 2012. The unemployment rate for the Kansas City area declined for an eighth consecutive year to 3.4 percent in 2018, its lowest level since 1999.

In 2019, the Kansas City metropolitan area is projected to add more than 11,000 new jobs as employment grows 1.0 percent. The fastest growth is forecast to be in the service and government sectors, but growth is expected in all of the area’s major economic sectors. 

  • The production sector is forecast to grow 0.3 percent in 2019, adding more than 300 new jobs. Growth in 2019 is expected to be driven by the manufacturing sector, which is projected to almost 1,000 new jobs, following the sector’s return to growth in 2018 after contracting in 2017. The construction and mining sector is projected to decline by approximately 600 jobs in 2019 after growth slowed substantially in 2018. 
  • Trade, transportation and utilities employment is projected to almost 1,000 new jobs to the local economy in 2019. The growth is projected to be concentrated in the wholesale trade sector and transportation and utilities sector, while employment in the retail trade sector is projected to decline modestly. On an inflation-adjusted basis, taxable retail sales are projected to grow 0.4 percent in 2019, the fastest growth of any Kansas metropolitan area.
  • More than half of Kansas City’s employment growth is forecast to be in the service sector, which is projected to add more than 6,000 new jobs in 2019. The service sector is expected to grow 1.1 percent in 2019, a substantial acceleration compared to 2018’s 0.6 percent growth in the sector, though still modestly lower than the area’s service sector growth from 2012 to 2017, which averaged 2 percent. Growth is projected to be led by the professional and business services sector and the education and health services sector. Since 2012, these two service sectors have accounted for more than 80 percent of the total service sector growth in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
  • Government sector employment is expected to expand 2 percent in 2019 with more than 3,000 new jobs. These jobs are forecast to be largely in the local government sector, with modest growth in state and federal government employment.

*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.

DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION

 

  


.

Topeka Employment Forecast

Released May 9, 2019  (See previous version.)

The Topeka metropolitan area’s* total nonfarm employment grew by 0.3 percent in 2018, adding 300 new workers to the local economy. From 2012 to 2016, the Topeka area grew by an average of 0.8 percent annually, followed by a decline of 0.7 percent in 2017. In 2018, the unemployment rate for Topeka declined to 3.4 percent, its lowest level since 1999.

For 2019, Topeka employment is projected to grow 0.6 percent and add more than 600 new workers, with growth largely concentrated in the service sector.

  • The production sectors are expected to grow 0.2 percent, adding fewer than 100 jobs to the Topeka economy. The manufacturing sector is forecast to lead growth with more than 100 jobs added, while being largely offset by approximately 100 job losses in the construction sector. The manufacturing sector has been one of Topeka’s fastest growing sectors, with 500 jobs added in 2017 and 2018.
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities sector employment is projected to remain approximately flat in 2019. Since 2009, the sector has declined in employment by 1,100 jobs, largely concentrated in the transportation and wholesale trade sectors. Taxable retail sales are projected to decline 2 percent on an inflation adjusted basis in 2019; taxable retail sales declined 2.6 and 1.9 percent, respectively in 2017 and 2018. 
  • The service sector is forecast to lead growth in the Topeka area, growing 1.1 percent and adding almost 600 jobs. Growth is projected to be primarily focused in the education and health services sector, which added 300 jobs in 2018 and is expected to add more than 400 in 2019. Overall, Topeka’s service sector returned to growth in 2018 after declining by approximately 200 jobs in 2017. • Government employment is projected to grow 0.3 percent, adding fewer than 100 jobs in 2019. Federal, state and local government are each projected to grow modestly in 2019. If they do, it would mark the first year for all three governmental sectors to increase together in the Topeka area since 2010.

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

DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION

 

  


.