Employment in Kansas is expected to grow about 1 percent in the coming year, according to a new forecast out of Wichita State University.
WSU’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research says total nonfarm employment is expected to increase by almost 14,000 jobs. Most of the jobs will be in the service industry and the trade, transportation and utilities sector.
Center director Jeremy Hill says the state’s core industries—agriculture, oil and manufacturing—struggled in the past year. Statewide, manufacturing lost about 1,000 jobs between February and June 2016, the most recent month of data available.
“I think we’re somewhat past these bigger issues," Hill says. "[It's] not really gonna weigh us down too much, but I don’t see a lot of opportunity in those core sectors either.”
Hill says a lack of growth in manufacturing employment isn’t great news for Wichita. Employment in the industry is projected to remain flat in the region.
"We don't expect any growth from there, which has weakened our potential growth," he says.
He says the region will see more jobs in the service sectors in 2017, with more than 2,000 jobs expected to be added; it's projected to be the fastest-growing areas of Wichita's economy, with the business service sector and the leisure and hospitality sectors expected to grow by approximately 2.3 percent.
Hill says consumers are spending more money on dining and entertainment.
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