Economy

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.

Nick Ares, flickr Creative Commons

More than $300 million in unclaimed property is being held by the state of Kansas. The state treasurer is trying to get those assets back to their rightful owners.

In Sedgwick County, $34 million in assets have gone unclaimed. State Treasurer Ron Estes says it can be anything from a check that got lost in the mail to a utility refund.

A survey out of Creighton University indicates that Kansas’ economy was down last month. KMUW's Sean Sandefur has more...

Kansas received a 49.7 on Creighton University’s monthly Business Conditions Index for May, down from 51.2 in April. The score means that for the first time this year, Kansas’ economy is thought to be shrinking.

The index is based on surveys from business owners across the state and is scored from zero to 100.

Flazingo Photos, flickr Creative Commons

A report from the Congressional Joint Economic Committee shows that private-sector job growth in Kansas has lagged behind other states in the region.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kansas came in fourth in its five-state region when measuring private-sector job growth since the 2007 start of recession.

When compared to the beginning of the recession, Kansas private-sector jobs had grown 1.6 percent.

Ahead of only Missouri, Kansas lagged behind Colorado, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

neetalparekh, flickr Creative Commons

The Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State has just released the 2015 economic forecast for Kansas and Wichita. KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc has more...

Kansas employment growth numbers fell behind the national numbers for the last 12 months, gaining 1.1 percent to the nation's 2.1 percent.

However, employment in the Wichita metropolitan area grew by 0.1 percent.

The projections for 2015 are for service sector jobs in both Kansas and Wichita.

The report indicates that the city's biggest gains will be in education and health.

While exports declined by about 4 percent last year--from the $12.46 billion number in 2013--the state still posted the third highest annual export value in Kansas history.

Matt Keith with the Kansas Department of Commerce who released the report says that several key industries experienced strong growth in exporting last year, particularly manufacturing.

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