Economy

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas officials have lowered the forecast for future tax collections by hundreds of millions of dollars, creating a bleak budget picture. The state now faces a $350 million deficit in the current fiscal year and a nearly $600 million budget gap in the next fiscal year.

Sometimes when the revenue estimate is lowered, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback immediately announces cuts to balance the budget. Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, says they aren’t doing that this time.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas is preparing for a new fiscal forecast for state government that is expected to be more pessimistic in projecting the state's tax collections than the current one.

State officials, legislative researchers and university economists were meeting Thursday to draft revised projections for tax collections through June 2017. They also planned to issue the first projections for the following two years.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, his staff and legislators use the numbers in budgeting. The current forecast was issued in April.

Derek Gavey / flickr Creative Commons

Low prices mean many farmers are facing tough times. As Harvest Public Media’s Jeremy Bernfeld explains, farmers think that’s not likely to let up.

Bumper harvest after bumper harvest has plunged prices for important crops like corn and soybeans.

Jim Mintert is a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. In a recent survey, his team found the vast majority of farmers expect bad financial times over the next year. More than a quarter said they expect prices to dip below what it takes to break even.

New numbers show the unemployment rate in Kansas went up for the fourth month in a row.

The Kansas Department of Labor reports the state’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.4 percent in September. That’s up from 4 point one percent a year ago. The agency also says the state’s total labor force has decreased over the year.

Between August and September, Kansas lost 2100 private-sector jobs.

Dan Moyle / flickr Creative Commons

In spite of a sluggish economy, Wichita home sales are expected to rise for the sixth straight year, according to the latest housing forecast from the Wichita State University Center for Real Estate.

The report says Wichita home sales should rise 5.8 percent by the end of this year and another 5 percent in 2017. Director Stan Longhofer says overall, the housing forecast looks very solid.

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

The annual Wichita Employment Forecast has been released by the Center for Economic Development and Research at WSU. Non-farm employment is expected to increase by nearly 2500 jobs next year.

Director Jeremy Hill says the forecast for the Wichita area will grow by .8 percent, which is a little bit slow in growth from last year.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Updated at 4:00 p.m:

Kansas tax collections came in more than $40 million short of estimates in September. That grows the budget deficit for the current fiscal year to around $60 million.

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

A recent study on unemployment in Wichita found that a person receiving unemployment benefits in Wichita is 2.3 times more likely to be white than of a minority race. The study also found a disproportionately higher level of minority workers receiving benefits when compared to the overall workforce.

jphilipg, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas has lost the highest number of construction jobs in the nation over the past 12 months, according to an analysis of United States Department of Labor data.

The report issued by the Associated General Contractors of America shows that Kansas construction jobs dropped 7.3 percent, 4400 jobs, in the last 12 months. In the last month alone the report shows Kansas lost 500 jobs.

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

As the nation gained jobs during the month of July, Kansas lost them. At the same time, the state's unemployment rate also moved higher.

The number of jobs in Kansas fell by 5,600 in the month of July. The state labor department says most of those jobs – 4,600 – were in the private sector.

Pages