The long-awaited January jobs report delivered a fresh batch of bad news Friday to Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansans.
The figures provide yet more proof that the income tax cuts Brownback signed in 2012 — and which took effect three years ago in January 2013 — are not working as he promised to boost employment.
Highlights of the huge new national jobs report from the state and federal Bureau of Labor Statistics:
▪ Total nonfarm employment in the Sunflower State fell by 4,000 from December 2015 to January 2016.
▪ Kansas had only 1,400 more jobs this January than in January of 2015. That’s far short of Brownback’s goal of adding 25,000 more jobs a year during his second term.
▪ Overall, the annual growth rate in Kansas was a puny 0.1 percent from January 2015 to January 2016. That was one of the worst in the nation.
▪ U.S. job growth was a much healthier 1.9 percent over the January 2015 to January 2016 span.
Oh, and here’s a factoid for you: Kansas has added a grand total of 700 new jobs since Kansans re-elected Brownback in November 2014 — 14 torturous months ago.
The new jobs report arrived the same week that Kansas revenue figures for February came in a woeful $54 million short of estimates.
Brownback immediately slashed $17 million in funding for higher education, with more budget cuts likely to come.
Overall in 2015, Kansas was an appalling 18,000 jobs short of that 25,000-per-year goal Brownback had set for his second term.
Brownback has constantly patted himself on the back for Kansas’ low unemployment rate.
At 4.0 percent in January, Kansas still has one of the dozen or so lowest rates in the country.
However, as noted in the past, simply having a low rate doesn’t correlate to strong job growth.
As of December — even when Brownback was moaning that Kansas was finding it tough to gain jobs because of its low unemployment rate — almost all states with even lower unemployment figures actually were gaining jobs faster than the Sunflower State. See my “silent video” explaining that.
The bad news on Friday added to this sad fact:
For much of the past year, Kansas has had some of the lowest rates of job growth in the country.
▪ From December 2014 to December 2015, Kansas tied for ninth worst in the nation.
▪ For the November-to-November span, the state was eighth worst.
▪ For the October-to-October period, Kansas tied for 10th worst.
▪ For the September-to-September period, Kansas tied for eighth worst.
▪ For the August-to-August span, the rate tied for fourth worst.
▪ For the July-to-July period, the state was sixth worst.