Jobs Report Good for NE Kansas

January 19, 2012

Leavenworth Times – Tim Linn

A report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday showed average weekly wages in Kansas grew between June 2010 and June 2011 and that several large counties were adding jobs.

In Leavenworth County, the average weekly wage stood at $840 as of the end of the second quarter in June 2011, with 21,176 people employed. That average weekly wage put Leavenworth County ahead of the statewide average of $754 but less than the national average weekly wage of $891.

All four of the largest counties in Kansas: Johnson, Wyandotte, Sedgwick and Shawnee, saw average wages grow over the past year.

Linda Nickisch, economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said Wednesday that the average takes into account the weekly wages of all workers eligible for either state or federal unemployment benefits.

“It does cover everybody from executives to clerical workers,” she said.

It does not include agricultural workers, those who are self-employed or military personnel.

The data released Wednesday does appear to point to positive trends for the state and especially for nearby Johnson and Wyandotte counties, where jobs were also added faster than the rate reported nationwide.

According to the Leavenworth County Development Corporation’s 2011 business retention and expansion report, the unemployment rate in Leavenworth County was reported at 7.5 percent in November 2011, down from 8 percent a year earlier. Statewide, that number also decreased, from 6.7 percent in November 2010 to 6 percent in November 2011.

Those trends appear to point to a positive economic outlook, Nickisch said.

“It’s good to see that jobs are being added in Kansas,” she said.