Archive for Friday, March 26, 2010

State’s unemployment picture looking a bit better

March 26, 2010

— The Kansas unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent in February, down from 7.2 percent in January, officials reported today.

The decrease was welcomed by state officials.

“While it is still too early to say the Kansas labor market is out of the woods, I am encouraged by a number of promising signs in the February Labor Report,” said Kansas Labor Secretary Jim Garner.

Strong gains were seen in manufacturing jobs for the first time in 16 months, job losses overall were slowing in nearly all other sectors, and the number of initial unemployment claims decreased, the department reported.

“These are encouraging signs that we will be watching closely over the coming months,” Garner said.

The national jobless rate for February stood at 9.7 percent.

Manufacturing lost 17,600 jobs over the year, a 9.9 percent decrease with the majority of losses in aerospace production. But over the month, manufacturing jobs increased by 3,500, the first considerable gain in this industry since September 2008.

There were 21,498 initial claims for unemployment benefits in February, down from 33,075 initial claims in January and down from 26,663 in February 2009.

The state labor department said there had been a delay in receiving city and county unemployment rates, but it expected those figures to be available next week.

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