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Unemployment numbers for September show improvements both statewide and in Wichita.

Wichita’s unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent last month, a stronger showing than in August, which experienced 5 percent unemployment. The statewide unemployment rate for September is also 4.4 percent, down from 4.6 percent in August.

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The state of Kansas has received a sizable grant from the federal government to help people struggling to find jobs.

The Kansas Commerce Department has been awarded nearly $5.6 million from the Workplace Innovation Fund, which will be used for job placement and training in a variety of industries.

Spokesperson Matthew Keith says the program will focus on people facing multiple barriers to employment.

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.

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.

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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.

Spirit Aerosystems

Spirit AeroSystems has announced hundreds of job openings in Wichita. The company will be holding a job fair this weekend.

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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.


Wichita State University economists expect Kansas to add more than 24,000 jobs in 2015, most of them in service positions.

The university's Center for Economic Development and Business Research predicts slightly more than 1.4 million people will be employed in nonfarm sectors this year.

The expected new jobs represent a 1.8 percent increase over 2014. Employment growth in Kansas is close to the nationwide average.

Last year, employment increased by 1.5 percent across the U.S. and 1 percent in Kansas.

A state economist told a group of Governor Brownback's advisors on Wednesday that Kansas has regained the private-sector jobs it lost during the most recent recession.

However, the state is shifting from employment in manufacturing to services.

Tyler Tenbrink with the Kansas Department of Labor says wages have been rising this year, but haven't fully rebounded from the 2007-09 recession when adjusted for inflation.

Tenbrink says the state should continue to see growth in the number of private-sector, non-farm jobs over the next six to 12 months.

A new report says the Kansas jobless rate remained unchanged at 4.8 percent in May while the state saw record employment.

The state Department of Labor reported Thursday that nearly 1.43 million Kansas residents were employed in May, up from both April of this year and May 2013.

The agency also said that last month’s unemployment rate was significantly better than the 5.6 percent seen in May 2013.

Labor Market information services director Justin McFarland said the figures show rising demand for workers from employers and greater confidence in the state’s economy.