TOPEKA, Kan. - Kansas saw its unemployment rate inch up to 4.9 percent in June but also experience modest, over-the-year growth in private-sector jobs.
The state Department of Labor reported Thursday that the seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose from 4.8 percent in May. However, June's figure still was significantly better than the 5.6 percent recorded in June 2013.
The report indicates Kansas added 700 new jobs in June. But metro Wichita went in the opposite direction, losing 3,400 jobs. In fact, it was the only metropolitan area to lose jobs. The report did not specify where that drop occurred.
This is the last state jobs report before the Kansas primary, so partisan spin of the numbers developed. A statement from Republican Secretary of Labor Lana Gordon noted the economy has gained 55,000 jobs since January 2011, when Sam Brownback became Governor. But a tweet from the Kansas Democratic Party declared the state has lost jobs since last November.
The department also said the number of nonfarm, private-sector jobs grew by about 1.3 percent in June, compared with June 2013. Nearly 1.13 million Kansans held such jobs, up 15,000 from June 2013.
Government employment also grew 1.3 percent, to about 255,000. State, local and federal agencies added 3,400 jobs over the year. The most robust over-the-year job growth occurred in construction. Employment in the industry grew by 6.9 percent, or 3,900 jobs.