The final U.S. jobs report before the Nov. 4 election came out Tuesday for Kansas and the rest of the nation. Forget the self-serving spin from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and other politicians. What do the facts show?
In a nutshell: Kansas is still trailing about 30 states throughout the country in its rate of total employment growth since Jan. 2013, when Brownback’s income tax cuts took effect.
They were supposed to woo jobs from Missouri and the rest of the country. Instead, they are draining crucial revenue from the budget without producing the expected surge in employment.
Indeed, look at the numbers closely, and they especially don’t look that positive for Brownback, as he tries to fend off Democrat Paul Davis in the governor’s race this fall.
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Here are the rates of employment expansion for Kansas, its neighboring four states, three other close-by states and the total nation since January of 2013. These are according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm, seasonally adjusted numbers, the broad measurement that includes private sector and government employment.
Texas, up 5.9 percent, or 635,000 jobs
Colorado, up 4.9 percent, or 115,000 jobs
U.S. average, up 3.1 percent
Oklahoma, up 2.9 percent, or 47,700 jobs
Missouri, up 2.8 percent, or 76,600 job
Iowa, up 2.6 percent, or 38,800 jobs
Kansas, up 1.9 percent, or 25,300 jobs
Nebraska, up 1.5 percent, or 14,400 jobs
Arkansas, up 1.4 percent, or 16,800 jobs
Kansas isn’t even close to meeting the national average.
For this entire year, Kansas is adding about 750 jobs a month, on average.
It’s especially interesting that Missouri, right across the state line, has such a healthy rate of job expansion without income tax cuts. Missouri is adding more than 4,000 jobs a month for 2014.
Keep in mind that the Kansas tax reductions have cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, damaging its ability to provide high quality public services to residents, especially when it comes to K-12 education.
As for Brownback and his supporters, this is dreary news indeed. They will try to spin it as a move in the right direction.
Yet other states that didn’t cut taxes are moving more quickly in a better direction when it comes to more jobs.