jobs

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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.

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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.

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This summer’s employment outlook is down from last year, but many local businesses are still looking to hire new staff.

A new survey from the employment company Manpower shows that 20 percent of Wichita employers are looking to boost their staff in the coming months. That’s down slightly from last quarter, when 22 percent of employers said they planned on new hires.

Kansas Department of Labor

The latest jobs report for Kansas is a mixed bag.

Kansas’ unemployment rate fell slightly for the second month in a row, but the state Department of Labor says job growth has stalled.

According to a report released Friday, the unemployment rate for April was 3.8 percent, down from March's rate of 3.9 percent. It’s also down from April of last year, which was 4.2 percent.

Locally, Sedgwick County’s unemployment rate dropped sharply, from 4.6 in March to 3.9 in April.

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People who have spent time in jail can learn about employment opportunities at a job fair Saturday at Wichita's St. Mark United Methodist Church.

The job fair will assist people who find it hard to get employed after being incarcerated. Coordinator Dennis Wilkinson says these men and women are highly motivated.

"And they really want to change their lives, they really want to move forward and they really want a chance," Wilkinson says. "We're asking employers to give people an opportunity to prove what they can do."

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The Kansas Department of Labor has released its jobs report for March. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate came in at 3.9 percent, slightly lower than February’s 4 percent.

The unemployment rate for March was also lower than March of 2015, which recorded a rate of 4.3 percent. That’s a growth of nearly 23,000 jobs, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

The report also states that 2,500 non-farm jobs were created from February to March, most of which was seen in private sector areas like trade, transportation and utilities.

Kansas Department of Labor

The Kansas Department of Labor has released its February jobs report for the state.

February’s unemployment rate in Kansas came in at 4 percent, remaining unchanged from January. Numbers were slightly better than February of last year, when unemployment was at 4.3 percent. The national average is 5.5.

But despite the unemployment rate improving from last year, Kansas is losing jobs. The report shows a loss of 1,900 non-farm jobs from January to February, with construction taking the biggest hit.

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A survey of business officials in the middle of the country paints a dim outlook for the region’s economy. The survey by Creighton University shows a negative outlook for job growth and overall business conditions in Kansas and other mid-America states.

Creighton economics professor Ernie Goss says the numbers show manufacturing has taken a hit in the region, with more than 1 percent of manufacturing jobs lost in the last year.

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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.

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