Job Openings Jump Nationwide; Thousands Available In Kansas

By: Cayle Thompson Email
By: Cayle Thompson Email

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New national statistics continue to show the country's economy on the rebound. According to the Labor Department, the number of jobs advertised at the end of April rose to 3.1 million, or up 300,000 from the month before.

It's the most number of available jobs since December 2008, though still below pre-recession levels, officials said.

In Kansas, experts say the trend is similar. According to numbers from the Wichita Workforce Alliance, Kansas had nearly 16,000 available jobs in April, up from just over 10,000 jobs in March.

"The average for April is about 10,000 job gains, so that was really good," said Kimberly Cronister, public information officer for the Workforce Alliance.

Cronister said education, health care and construction were among the jobs with the most available openings.

In the last week, Cronister's downtown office has hosted two job fairs. On Tuesday, USD 259's new busing company - First Student - began recruiting for several hundred potential jobs.

Some, like Jerry Davis, were hired on the spot.

"I've been out of work for about a year and a half," Davis told KAKE News. "It's nice to get a job again."

Last week, KAKE News reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed nearly 25,000 out of work in the metro. The city's unemployment rate was more than 7 percent.

However, those numbers remain below the national average, and continue to shrink, economist Jeremy Hill said.

Hill, who leads WSU's Center For Economic Development & Business Research, said recent reports showed slow but steady improvement in the area's manufacturing, new home sales, and aerospace stock.

However, Hill said because Kansas was slow to enter the recession, it would take longer for the state to fully recover.

First Student will host another job fair on June 22 at the Wichita Workforce Alliance, located at 150 N. Main.

Applicants unable to attend the job fairs may submit an application at the First Student location in the Office This Building, located at 4031 East Harry. Applications will be accepted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Additional information on the job fairs can be found by calling (316) 771-6861.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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