Kansas and Missouri both reported solid job growth in February, and 34 other states also had increases, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. The bureau also said they were among 42 states whose jobless rates fell significantly from February 2014 to this February.
For this February, Kansas ranked 14th in number of jobs added with 9,500 jobs, and Missouri was close behind with 9,400. In the region, only Colorado with 12,000 added jobs did better than Kansas and Missouri.
Both topped Texas, which had just 7,100. It’s usually one of the leaders, but the slowdown in the energy industry might be hurting job growth there.
California was first on the list, which tracks non-farm payroll jobs. It gained 29,400 such jobs, followed by Georgia with 25,400 more jobs and New York with 20,200.
Given Kansas’ size, it had one of the best employment growth rates in February. But the good numbers also followed a loss of 4,100 jobs in Kansas in January, one of the worst showings among the states that month.
Kansas’ net gain of 5,400 in the first two months of the year is ahead of Gov. Sam Brownback’s goal of adding 2,000 jobs a month in his current term in office. Brownback has steered income tax cuts through the Legislature with the pledge that they would spur the state’s economy and job growth.
For the 12 months from last February through February 2015, the bureau said, Kansas’ jobless rate went from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent, and Missouri’s dropped from 6.4 percent to 5.5 percent, which is also the national rate. Kansas’ decline was one of the smallest in the country.