e-Connection is a monthly newsletter that contains employment forecasts, indexes, and other research from CEDBR.

Industry News and Developments

 Wichita Industry News ReportWichita Industry News and Developments provides a brief overview of statistical trends and major announcements by industry sector.  The report covers the Wichita, KS MSA, which is comprised of Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.


Download Wichita Industry News and Developments report


Mar10 Demo ImageCurrent
Economic variables occur at approximately the same time as the conditions they signify.


Mar10 Demo Image Leading
Economic variables that are considered to predict future economic activity.

Contact Us

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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.

Wichita's Economic Outlook, 2014 Review and 2015 Forecast

In 2015, Wichita total nonfarm employment is expected to increase by 4,472 jobs, which implies the employment growth rate is anticipated to be 1.5 percent.

Read the updated Wichita forecast.



2015 Kansas Economic Outlook

Nationally, real GDP grew at a robust rate of 4.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014, following a contraction of 2.1 percent in the first quarter.  Strong growth in personal consumption expenditures and private investment were the key contributors to this growth.  Net exports shrunk in the second quarter, while government consumption increased slightly. Employment increased by 1.9 percent nationally in the last twelve months, while Kansas employment increased by 1 percent.

Read the newly released forecast update.



2014 Wichita Economic Outlook Conference

Wichita Economic Outlook Conference


2014 Retail Speaker - Jack Kleinhenz

Economic Outlook  

Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D., chief economist for the National Retail Federation headquartered in Washington, D.C., will speak to the 35th Annual Wichita Area Economic Outlook Conference hosted by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research.  The event will be held from 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. on October 9 in the Century II Convention Hall. 


Kleinhenz is a frequent speaker on business and regional economic issues and is regularly called upon by local, national and international media, including the Financial Times, Bloomberg News, CNBC, Fox News, National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Washington Post. In addition to his role with NRF, he is principal and chief economist of Kleinhenz & Associates, a registered investment advisory firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in financial consulting and wealth management.


Kleinhenz is the current president of the National Association for Business Economics, the largest international association of applied economists, strategists, academics, and policy makers. He is also a contributing forecaster to The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which recognized Kleinhenz for forecasting excellence.


Kleinhenz was a recent finalist for the 2014 Weatherhead School of Management Teaching Award. A graduate of John Carroll University, he earned his master’s degree and doctoral degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame.


Registration for the Economic Outlook Conference is now open, and tickets are $115. This price includes breakfast. Check the Center’s website often for updates about the conference,


2014 Wichita EOC Air Transportation Speaker

Economic Outlook  

William S. Swelbar, executive vice president in charge of InterVISTAS Consulting firm’s Washington, D.C., office, will speak to the 35th Annual Wichita Area Economic Outlook Conference, hosted by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research.  The event will be held from 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. on October 9 in the Century II Convention Hall. 


Swelbar is a much sought-after speaker on the topic of air transport. In addition to his role at InterVISTAS, he is a research engineer in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s International Center for Air Transportation, where he is affiliated with the Global Airline Industry Program and Airline Industry Research Consortium.


Over the past 30 years, Swelbar’s work in the airline industry has focused on airline labor cost restructuring, regulatory issues governing air transport, communication strategy and support, and air service development on behalf of airports and communities of all sizes. He has represented many diverse interests in the industry, including airlines, airports, investors, manufacturers, and labor groups.


He has contributed articles to the Journal of Air Transport Management, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and other publications. His titles include “Trends and Market Forces Shaping Small Community Air Service in the U.S.”; “Modeling Changes in Connectivity at U.S. Airports: A Small Community Perspective”; and “Evolving Trends of U.S. Domestic Air Fares: The Impacts of Competition, Consolidation and Low Cost Carriers.”  


Registration for the Economic Outlook Conference is now open, and tickets are $115. This price includes breakfast. Check the Center’s website often for updates about the conference,


Industry Performance Examined in Slide Presentation

Map of Kansas, divided into regionsIndustry concentration and performance are the topics of a CEDBR slide presentation being released today. State and regional employment data by industry for 2008 and 2012 are provided in table format and compared to national employment growth and concentration. Graphs also provide a visual portrayal of the data, including industry comparisons by earnings.

View the slide presentation.

Physicians and Physician Assistants Employment Trends

Photo of three doctors standing togetherThe third article of the CEDBR healthcare series is about physicians and physician assistants. Employment, location quotient, and average annual wages are analyzed for four specific occupations: family and general practitioners; general internists; physicians and surgeons, all other specialties; and physician assistants. For comparison, data is provided for metropolitan areas in Kansas, the Midwest region, and a group of four metropolitan areas that most closely resemble Wichita in population, demographics and industrial mix. These are Akron, Ohio; Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.; Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, S.C.; and Lancaster, Pa.  

Read the complete article.

Misery Level Declines in Topeka and Other Kansas Metros

Yellow smiley face buttonBetween first quarter 2014 and second quarter 2014 the general level of misery experienced by people in the United States, Kansas, and the Kansas metropolitan statistical areas decreased, with the largest percentage decline occurring in Topeka, Kan.

The Misery Index, as calculated by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR), includes the following components:

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • The House Price Index (HPI) from the Federal Housing Finance Agency
  • Unemployment Rates (UR) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read the complete second quarter report.

Inflation Varies by Geography and Commodity

Words going in different directions, all of which have to do with inflation, which has red letters, while all the other words have white lettersThe 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 August 2014 data shows the Midwest inflation rate decreased from July to August in urban metros, but increased slightly in non-metro urban areas.

The Producer Price Index data shows that prices in the United States have increased from August 2013 to August 2014 for aircraft (2 percent), natural gas (9.2 percent), and slaughter livestock (20.9 percent). During that same time period, crude petroleum decreased 10.8 percent, sorghum prices decreased 30.7 percent and wheat decreased 9.7 percent. 

Access this slide presentation.

Learn more about the CPI.

Learn more about the PPI.

Kansas Unemployment Rates Are on an Upward Trend

Red arrow on a graph, showing an upward trend.The unemployment rate for Kansas, as a whole, increased 0.3 percentage point from June to July. All of the Kansas MSAs experienced increases, also, ranging from 0.2 percentage point in Lawrence and Manhattan, to a 0.6 percentage point increase in the Wichita MSA. Topeka’s unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage point.  Increasing unemployment rates have been the trend for the past three months.

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

Learn more.

Leading Index Forecasts a Stronger Economy

From June to July, the WSU Current Conditions Index increased 0.2 percent, and the Leading Index increased 0.4 percent. Both indices also increased from July 2013 to July 2014, with the Current Conditions Index increasing 1.5 percent and the Leading Index increasing 2.1 percent. In addition, the Leading Index is forecasting a 0.84 percent increase in economic activity over the next six months. 

Read a further analysis of the monthly Index activity.

Access Index data.

Faculty Research on Bicultural Identity and Economic Engagement

Photo of flags from many countries.The Barton School of Business faculty continue to lead their fields in cutting-edge research published in highly regarded academic journals. For example, the results of an economic development study by Dr. Masud Chand, assistant professor of management, and colleague Rosalie Tung of Simon Frasier University, were recently published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Management.

This study explored the role that bicultural identity has on business people’s decisions to conduct business in both their country of residence and their country of origin.

Read a summary of this article.

Access the full article.

Economic Indicators


Current monthly and quarterly economic indicators for the Wichita MSA, the state of Kansas and the United States are now available.
Type Wichita Kansas United States
Monthly July 2014 July 2014 July 2014
Quarterly 2nd Qtr. 2014 2nd Qtr. 2014 2nd Qtr. 2014