The new Kansas jobs report issued Friday for the month of August is horrendous and there’s nothing Gov. Sam Brownback can do to whitewash the facts.
▪ The state lost 2,600 jobs from the previous month of July.
▪ It had 8,300 fewer jobs in August of this year than in August 2015, a 0.6 percent loss. That’s one of the worst rates in the nation.
▪ The unemployment rate jumped to 4.3 percent, up from 4.0 percent in July — and 3.7 percent in May.
▪ Kansas had 1,392,900 jobs in August — the fewest since July 2014 when the state had 1,393,100.
That’s right: The Sunflower State is going backward in employment creation.
The report provides even more evidence that Kansans need to ignore Brownback’s delusions about what’s going on in the state.
Just last week, Brownback told a group of conservative Republicans that his 2012 income tax cuts were working and had created a “record number” of new small businesses coming to Kansas.
Unfortunately, it’s very clear that those businesses aren’t bringing in true, new jobs.
And, as critics of the governor’s have noted, the state also is losing small businesses through normal attrition in the field, for smaller-than-advertised net gains of those businesses.
Meanwhile, Missouri gained 4,200 jobs in August from July. And in the last year, Missouri has added 27,100 in employment. Missouri’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent in July.
And the U.S. jobs report for August, released earlier this month, showed the nation as a whole doing much better than Kansas. The nation added 151,000 in employment while the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9 percent.
The Friday report was more evidence that Brownback’s promise to create an average of 2,000 new jobs per month during his second term in office is going to fall woefully short.
Essentially, since January 2014, Kansas has added a total of 12,600 in employment. That’s an average gain of just over 650 jobs a month.
The news about the August jobs situation in the Sunflower State followed the mostly downer news from previous months.
▪ The July employment report was an utter disaster. The state lost 5,600 jobs from June and the unemployment rate jumped to 4.0 percent from 3.8 percent in June.
▪ For June, jobs were up over the previous month, but still far below where Brownback had once promised.
▪ And for May, the bad news was that Kansas had fewer jobs than the year before.
No one knows when this jobs train wreck is going to end.
But it’s very clear that Brownback’s disastrous income tax cut policy did not spur the pledged gain in employment, all while taking $650 million in revenue out of the state budget.