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Center for Economic Development and Business Research
W. Frank Barton School of Business

1845 Fairmount, Devlin Hall
Wichita, KS 67260-0121
Phone: (316) 978-3225 
Fax: (316) 978-3950
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Save-the-Date for This Year's Conference!

The 35th Annual Wichita Area Economic Outlook Conference was rated a 4.24 out of 5 for overall value by 155 respondents. There were a total of 578 people in attendance at the 2014 conference. 

Here are just some of the positive comments we received from the evaluations:

“Not only was it informative it was an excellent networking opportunity.”

“For anyone who cares
about Wichita, this is a
must-attend event.”

“Good information,
passionate speakers.”

“Conference was immediately
informative. Enjoyed it very much
and will look forward to
this conference next year.”

“Great opportunity to see and talk to concerned
Wichita Business leaders. Good indicator that local
businesses are concerned about
local, state and federal economy.”


2015 Wichita Economic Outlook, January Revision


January 05, 2015

In 2015, Wichita total nonfarm employment is expected to increase by 4,228 jobs, which implies the employment growth rate is anticipated to be 1.5 percent.

The service (2,686) and production (700) sectors are expected to lead the growth in Wichita in 2015, with growth rates of 2 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector is projected to add 710 jobs and the government sector is expected to add approximately 100 new jobs, growing at 0.3 percent.

Read the full 2015 Wichita Employment Forecast.


2015 Kansas Economic Outlook, January Revision

January 05, 2015

In 2015, Kansas total nonfarm employment is expected to increase by 24,691 jobs, which implies the employment growth rate is anticipated to be 1.8 percent.

Both the service (17,614 jobs) and production (4,088 jobs) sectors are expected to lead the growth in the state in 2015, with growth rates of 2.8 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.  The trade, transportation, and utilities sector is projected to add 2,785 jobs, for 1.1 percent growth.  Whereas, the government sector is project to grow by only 0.1 percent, adding only 204 jobs in 2015.

Read the full 2015 Kansas Employment Forecast.


Serving the Community Well: The Economic Impact of Wichita's Health Care and Related Industries

The Center for Economic Development and Business Research completed an economic impact study of health care and related industries in the Wichita metropolitan area. The study, prepared for and released by the Medical Society of Sedgwick County (MSSC), lists the healthcare and social assistance industry as second among the area’s top five industries.

By level of employment growth, the health care industry in Wichita ranked number one out of 19 private industries from 2009 to 2012. In terms of wage growth, this industry has seen a much lower increase than other top industries in the area, ranking 17 out of 18 private industries in the Wichita MSA.

The health care industry in the Wichita MSA employs 18 percent of the total workforce.

Read the full report.

View the technical notes.

Visit MSSC's webpage.

Pharmacy Occupations Employment Above the National Average in Wichita Area

Employment in the various pharmacy occupations in the Wichita metropolitan area has varied significantly across the occupations for which data is available. Although these occupations account for a small fraction of the local labor force, approximately 1,700 workers, they provide valuable services to the community.

In the Wichita metropolitan area, employment in the pharmacy occupations has grown between 2008 and 2013. The concentration of these occupations in the Wichita area is above the national average. The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy opened a branch in Wichita in 2011, with the first class of students due to graduate in 2015. As new graduates enter the work force it is likely to increase the number of pharmacists in the area. 

This report details both the state and national employment levels, as well as average wages, for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy aides.

Read the full report.


County Employment-Population Ratios Across Kansas

The employment-population ratio has varied significantly across different areas in Kansas over the last fourteen years. Some counties have seen sharp declines, while others have been slowly growing.

Sedgwick County’s employment-population ratio had the largest drop during the 2008 recession of any population center in Kansas, and the Sedgwick County ratio has remained roughly flat since the 2008 recession.

Johnson County had the largest decline from 2000 to 2014 in its employment-population ratio, with a long-term decline of almost ten percentage points.

Read the full report, including methodology. 

Producer Price Index Increased for Four of the Six Industries Measured

The Consumer Price Index is used to calculate inflation, or the change in price of a basket of goods and services, as it impacts consumers; whereas, the Producer Price Index measures changes in selling prices, thereby expressing price changes from the perspective of the seller who produces a particular commodity.

A slide presentation updated with December 2014 data shows the Midwest inflation rate decreased in both urban metros and non-metro urban areas from November to December.

The Producer Price Index data shows that prices in the United States have increased from December 2013 to December 2014 for aircraft (1.9 percent), natural gas (12.4 percent), slaughter livestock (17.9 percent), and sorghum (4.1 percent). During that same time period, crude petroleum decreased 37.3 percent and wheat decreased 4.7 percent. 

Access this slide presentation.

Learn more about the CPI.

Learn more about the PPI.

Unemployment Increased Across Kansas and Kansas Metros

The unemployment rate for Kansas, as a whole, increased 0.3 percentage point from October to November. All of the Kansas MSAs experienced increases, also, ranging from 0.2 percentage point in the Wichita MSA to 0.3 percentage points in the Manhattan, Topeka and Lawrence MSA.

A slide presentation is available with additional employment and unemployment data for Kansas and its four metro areas.

Learn more.


Current Index Improved Slightly Between October and November

From October to November, both the WSU Current Conditions Index and the Leading Index increased 0.1 percent. The change from November 2013 to November 2014 in the Current Conditions Index shows a decrease of 0.1 percent and the Leading Index shows a decrease of 0.4 percent. In addition, the Leading Index is forecasting a 1.04 percent increase in economic activity over the next six months. 

Read a further analysis of the monthly Index activity.

Access Index data.

Profile of Unemployment Insurance Beneficiaries in Wichita, 3rd Quarter 2014

Unemployment Beneficiaries There was an average of 17,436 unemployed people in the Wichita metropolitan area in the third quarter of 2014, approximately 46 percent of whom collected unemployment insurance benefits. In the third quarter of 2014 there were approximately 8,027 people, age 16 and over, who collected unemployment insurance benefits. That is an increase of approximately 4 percent from the second quarter.
In the third quarter of 2014, five industries accounted for 70.9 percent of unemployment insurance beneficiaries in the Wichita area; manufacturing, administrative and support and waste management and remediation services, wholesale trade, health care and social assistance, and construction. Only two industries had quarterly increases in the number of beneficiaries of any significance; manufacturing and wholesale trade, with an increase of 709 and 507 beneficiaries, respectively.    

Read the full report on the industry profile of Wichita unemployment insurance beneficiaries.