Kansas is getting nearly $5.6 million from the federal government to help people who are having trouble finding jobs get into work or training.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the grant from the Workforce Innovation Fund will pay for on-the-job training, job preparation and placement services. It also will go toward developing an online portal for people looking for help with employment and training staff on better customer service.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Kansas is only three months into a new fiscal year and already tax collections have come in below estimates in each of the three months.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

At the annual Wichita Area Economic Outlook Conference today, experts predicted both the state and local economies will reflect small growth in the coming year when compared to national numbers.

If predictions from Wichita State University economist Jeremy Hill stand true, 2016 will be the best year for job growth in Wichita since 2008. Hill estimates growth for the city at 1.1 percent; for the state, he puts it at about 1.4 percent.

Kansas’ unemployment rate in August remained unchanged from July and is still higher than this time last year.

According to the August jobs report from the Kansas Department of Labor, last month’s unemployment rate was 4.6 percent statewide, which is unchanged from July.

It’s also higher than numbers recorded in August of 2014, when unemployment sat at 4.3 percent. The difference between those two rates translates to more than 27,000 people who are now unemployed.

Data from a research center at Wichita State University shows economic misery was up slightly for Kansas in the second quarter of this year.

Data compiled by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University shows the misery index for the state went from 4.44 in the first quarter to 4.46 in the second quarter because of a small increase in the unemployment rate.

A new survey suggests that the economic outlook for 10 Midwest and Plains states is weaker than in previous months.

The Rural Mainstreet Index sank to growth neutral 50.0 in August from 53.4 in July. The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in that factor in the months ahead. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Kansas could soon issue a billion dollars in bonds, but that idea isn’t getting a glowing review from Moody's Investors Service, one of the nation's leading bond-rating companies.

The state wants to borrow money to help shore-up the finances of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS.

Moody’s pointed to the state’s recent budget troubles when giving the Kansas bonds what it calls a “below-average rating.”

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas is wrapping up the first month of the new fiscal year on a sour note. The state’s tax receipts in July came in just shy of expectations. Over the month, total tax collections in Kansas were short by just about 1 percent, or nearly $4 million.

401(K) 2012, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas taxpayers who owe personal or business back taxes accrued before December 2013 have the opportunity to clear their debt without having to pay interest and penalties on the amount owed.

The Tax Amnesty Program applies to income, estate, sales, liquor and other taxes. Kansas Department of Revenue spokesperson Jeannine Koranda says taxpayers must have an approved application and pay the debt between September 1 and October 15.

Flazingo Photos, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Labor says there were thousands of jobs created in the state last month, but as Stephen Koranda reports, the monthly labor report wasn’t all good news.