The Buzz

Job numbers great in Kansas — and maybe better in Missouri

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers released Friday, 1,411,450 Kansans were employed in November — the most since December 2008, just as the Great Recession began to hit.

Partly as a result, the state’s unemployment rate dipped to 5.1 percent, the lowest it’s been in almost five years.

Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to use the figures as evidence his tax cut program is working in the state. The BLS figures show Kansas has added 2,918 jobs since December 2012, the last month before the sweeping package of cuts took effect.

Republicans and Democrats will likely argue over the precise impact of those cuts on the Kansas numbers. And other figures suggest the verdict will be mixed.

Missouri, for example, added 31,240 jobs over the same December 2012 to November 2013 time frame, more than ten times as many jobs as Kansas. Missouri declined to enact tax cuts similar to those in Kansas.

Missouri's unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in November, the lowest it’s been since August 2008.

The federal government said Friday the economy grew at a rate of 4.1 percent in the third quarter, the best performance in several years.