Kansas Employment Forecast

Released January 8, 2018 (See previous version.)

From October 2016 to October 2017, Kansas employment has declined by 0.4 percent, a decrease of approximately 5,200 jobs.  In 2018, Kansas total nonfarm employment is projected to increase by 0.1 percent, adding approximately 2,000 jobs, with a range of expected growth between negative 0.2 percent and positive 0.5 percent.  Growth is expected to be lower than Kansas’ average employment growth rate over the last five years, which has been 1 percent.

  • Employment in the production sectors are projected to increase by 0.1 percent in Kansas, adding over 250 jobs in 2018. While the construction sector is expected to expand by almost 500 jobs, the durable and non-durable manufacturing sectors are both projected to modestly decline by approximately 0.1 percent.  Manufacturing employment has declined each year in Kansas since 2015 and remains over 25,000 jobs below the sector’s peak in 2008.
     
  • Trade, transportation and utilities sector employment is expected to grow 0.2 percent, adding approximately 500 new jobs.  The wholesale trade sector and the transportation and utilities sector are projected to grow 1 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.  The retail trade sector, however, is projected to decline by 0.7 percent in 2018. This is a reflection of weak growth in retail sales in Kansas recently; from August 2016 to August 2017, inflation-adjusted taxable retail sales for the state declined by 1.7 percent.
     
  • The service sectors are projected to have the strongest growth in Kansas in 2018, with 0.4 percent growth, adding approximately 2,600 jobs.  The two fastest growing service sectors are forecast to be the professional business services sector and the education and health services sector, which are collectively expected to add about 3,300 jobs. The drivers for this growth are expected to be an aging population and broader national growth in the service industries.  The information and other services sectors are collectively projected to lose 2,000 jobs.
     
  • The government sector is expected to contract by approximately 1,400 jobs in 2018, declining 0.6 percent.  Local, state and federal government employment are all projected to decline in Kansas, with the fastest decline at the federal level.

The Topeka, Kansas City, and Wichita metropolitan areas are all expected to grow at rates faster than the state average in 2018, with a combined average growth rate of 0.9 percent.  Excluding these three MSAs, the remainder of the state is forecast to experience an employment decline of approximately 1.1 percent, in part due to declines in some core sectors, such as mining and agriculture.

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Wichita Employment Forecast

Released January 8, 2018  (See previous version.)

In the last twelve months, employment in the Wichita metropolitan area has grown by 1.4 percent.  In 2018, Wichita total nonfarm employment is forecast to increase by 1,496 jobs, growing 0.5 percent, with an expected growth range between 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent. This is expected to be modestly lower than Wichita’s average employment growth rate over the last five years, which has been 0.8 percent.

  • The production sectors are projected to grow 0.6 percent in 2018.  The construction and mining sector is forecast to have the strongest growth, adding over 500 jobs, while the durable and non-durable manufacturing sectors are projected to collectively decline by approximately 100 jobs, combined.
     
  • The trade, transportation and utilities sector is forecast to contract by 0.2. The job losses are expected to be concentrated in the retail trade sector, with over 350 jobs lost.  The transportation and utilities sector is projected to experience the strongest growth, adding over 200 jobs.  Employment in wholesale trade sector is expected to remain approximately flat in 2018.
     
  • The service sectors are projected to continue to lead Wichita’s employment growth in 2018, expanding by 0.8 percent.  The fastest growing service sectors and expected to be the education and health services sector and the leisure and hospitality sector, each of which are forecast to grow by approximately 1.5 percent.  The professional and business services sector is projected to grow by 0.9 percent. The information sector and financial activities sector are both forecast to contract modestly.
     
  • Government employment is expected to remain approximately flat in 2018, expanding by 0.1 percent.  Federal government employment is forecast to decline modestly while local government employment is forecast to increase slightly.
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Kansas Employment Forecast

Released January 8, 2018 (See previous version.)

From October 2016 to October 2017, Kansas employment has declined by 0.4 percent, a decrease of approximately 5,200 jobs.  In 2018, Kansas total nonfarm employment is projected to increase by 0.1 percent, adding approximately 2,000 jobs, with a range of expected growth between negative 0.2 percent and positive 0.5 percent.  Growth is expected to be lower than Kansas’ average employment growth rate over the last five years, which has been 1 percent.

  • Employment in the production sectors are projected to increase by 0.1 percent in Kansas, adding over 250 jobs in 2018. While the construction sector is expected to expand by almost 500 jobs, the durable and non-durable manufacturing sectors are both projected to modestly decline by approximately 0.1 percent.  Manufacturing employment has declined each year in Kansas since 2015 and remains over 25,000 jobs below the sector’s peak in 2008.
     
  • Trade, transportation and utilities sector employment is expected to grow 0.2 percent, adding approximately 500 new jobs.  The wholesale trade sector and the transportation and utilities sector are projected to grow 1 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.  The retail trade sector, however, is projected to decline by 0.7 percent in 2018. This is a reflection of weak growth in retail sales in Kansas recently; from August 2016 to August 2017, inflation-adjusted taxable retail sales for the state declined by 1.7 percent.
     
  • The service sectors are projected to have the strongest growth in Kansas in 2018, with 0.4 percent growth, adding approximately 2,600 jobs.  The two fastest growing service sectors are forecast to be the professional business services sector and the education and health services sector, which are collectively expected to add about 3,300 jobs. The drivers for this growth are expected to be an aging population and broader national growth in the service industries.  The information and other services sectors are collectively projected to lose 2,000 jobs.
     
  • The government sector is expected to contract by approximately 1,400 jobs in 2018, declining 0.6 percent.  Local, state and federal government employment are all projected to decline in Kansas, with the fastest decline at the federal level.

The Topeka, Kansas City, and Wichita metropolitan areas are all expected to grow at rates faster than the state average in 2018, with a combined average growth rate of 0.9 percent.  Excluding these three MSAs, the remainder of the state is forecast to experience an employment decline of approximately 1.1 percent, in part due to declines in some core sectors, such as mining and agriculture.

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PREDICTED VALUE ON AUGUST 31, 2018

The contestants in CEDBR’s S&P 500 Prediction Challenge each gave a prediction for the value of the S&P 500 stock market index on August 31st, 2018.  As of November 5th, the closing date for entries into the Challenge, the S&P 500 index was valued at 2,587.  The median prediction among the contestants for the S&P 500 Index is 2,663.58 points.  On average, contestants predicted that the S&P 500 will increase by 3 percent over the next ten months, after the index increased by 14.6 percent this year to date.

Approximately 60 percent of the contestants predicted that the stock market would increase in 2018 over its November 2017 value.  Many of their predictions were more bullish than major analysts forecast for 2018.  Recently, analysts at Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup forecast the S&P 500 to reach 2,500 points, 2,600 points, and 2,675 points, respectively, in 2018. The Federal Reserve Board has forecast continued economic growth in 2018, with modest inflationary expectations and a half point increase in the Federal Funds rate projected.

S&P 500 Prediction Challenge Responses

August 31st, 2018 Forecast

November 3rd, 2017

Predicted Change

Median

2,663

2,587

+79

Mean

2,584

2,587

-3

Minimum

1,772

2,587

-815

Maximum

3,065

2,587

+478

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CEDBR S&P 500 Prediction Challenge Student Entry Results

For the Second Annual Center for Economic Development and Business Research S&P 500 Prediction Challenge, WSU students provided predictions of the value of the S&P 500 stock market index on August 31st, 2018. As of March 1st, the closing date for entries for the challenge, the S&P 500 stock index closed at 2,677.67 index points after increasing 12.3 percent in the past year. The average prediction by the WSU students for August 31st was 2849 index points, an increase of 6 percent over six months. Almost 70 percent of the entries forecast the index to increase in the next six months, ranging from predictions of increases of 1.4 percent to a 30.7 percent. The entries forecasting a drop in the index ranged from a 3.1 percent decline to an 11.5 percent decline. The median prediction of the students was for the index to rise 212 points in the next six months, for an increase of 7.9 percent. On average, the student entries were more bullish in their predictions for the market than analysts at major banks such as Goldman Sachs, Citibank, and Bank of America; the consensus 2018 forecast among analysts was for the market to grow approximately 4 percent over that six month period. The entry closest to the actual closing value on August 31st, 2018 will be recognized on stage at the 2018 Kansas Economic Outlook Conference on October 4th, 2018 at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita.

S&P 500 Prediction Challenge Responses

August 31st, 2018 Forecast

March 1st 2018

Predicted Change

Median

2,890

2,677

+213

Mean

2,849

2,677

-172

Minimum

2,395

2,677

-283

Maximum

3,500

2,677

+823

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