New employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provide some good news for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback — as well as show the continuing challenge to economic improvement in the state.
By DAVE HELLING
First, the good news: After slumping in August, jobs have rebounded in the state, according to numbers released Friday.
September figures show 1,403,341 people employed, an addition of 3,772 jobs from August. In October, 1,405,221 Kansans had jobs, adding another 1,880 jobs.
Unemployment rates have dropped, too, from 5.9 percent in August to 5.6 in October, the lowest rate since April.
But here’s the bad news: Kansas still had fewer jobs in October 2013 than it did in December 2012, the month before the Brownback tax cuts took effect.
In December, there were 1,408,532 working Kansans, the BLS says.
Put another way: Kansas has actually lost 3,311 jobs since the Brownback tax cuts took effect. And the October unemployment rate, 5.6 percent, is still higher in Kansas than it was in December last year, at 5.5 percent.
To be fair, Kansas jobs have grown year-over-year — there were more people in Kansas working in Oct. 2013 than in Oct. 2012. The problem is the bump in job growth in November and December 2012, which grew Kansas employment above the current levels.