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

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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
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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.

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.



Videos of Presentations and Panel Discussions Now Available

The Center for Economic Development and Business Research has launched a new YouTube channel which now features the videos from our Wichita Area Economic Outlook Conference! 
Click the image below to view the YouTube playlist for this conference or visit our website at
35th Annual Wichita Area Economic Outlook Conference Video Playlist

General Aviation Manufacturing Trends

Wichita General Aviation TrendsAlthough Wichita’s aircraft manufacturing industry experienced a significant downturn during the most recent recession, losing 14,600 aerospace product and parts manufacturing employees, the percentage of U.S. general aviation shipments delivered from Wichita has continued to be higher than pre-recession levels.

The percentage of Wichita original equipment manufacturers’ shipments were at 30.1 percent in 2009, with the percentage remaining reasonably stable, between 27 and 29 percent from 2010 through 2013. These percentages surpass pre-recession levels of 17 to 26 percent, in 2004 through 2008.

Read the complete article.

Therapy Employment Trends

Therapy Occupations in Wichita, KansasEmployment in the various therapy 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 810 workers, they provide valuable services to the community.

In the Wichita metropolitan area the concentration of employment in the therapy occupations is below the national average, with the exception of dietitians and nutritionists.  This indicates there may be a shortage of workers in these occupations.

To understand how employment in these important occupations has changed over time, employment, location quotient, and average annual wages have been analyzed.  For comparison, data is also 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 peer communities are Akron, Ohio; Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.; Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, S. C.; and Lancaster, Penn.

Read the complete article.

Wichita Cost of Living Less Than National Average

Cost of Living Less in WichitaThe Council for Community and Economic Research released the third quarter Cost of Living Index for 264 urban areas. Wichita’s overall Index value was more than 8 percent below the national average of 100. The most expensive urban area in which to live was New York (Manhattan), N.Y., with an Index value more than twice that of the national average. The least expensive urban area was McAllen, Texas, which was nearly 19 percent below the national average.

Read more.

To subscribe to the Cost of Living Index report, or to learn more about The Council for Community and Economic Research, visit their website.

Current Conditions and Leading Indices Both Increase

Current Conditions and Leading Indices Both IncreaseFrom August to September, the WSU Current Conditions Index increased 0.1 percent, and the Leading Index increased 0.2 percent. Both indices also increased from September 2013 to September 2014, with the Current Conditions Index increasing 0.2 percent and the Leading Index increasing 0.6 percent. In addition, the Leading Index is forecasting a 0.81 percent increase in economic activity over the next six months. 

Read a further analysis of the monthly Index activity.

Access Index data.

Inflation Decreases Geographically, Varies by Commodity

Inflation Down GeographicallyThe 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 October 2014 data shows the Midwest inflation rate decreased in both urban metros and non-metro urban areas from September to October.

The Producer Price Index data shows that prices in the United States have increased from October 2013 to October 2014 for aircraft (2.1 percent), natural gas (11.8 percent), and slaughter livestock (21.3 percent). During that same time period, crude petroleum decreased 22.3 percent, sorghum prices decreased 23.4 percent and wheat decreased 12.7 percent. 

Access this slide presentation.

Learn more about the CPI.

Learn more about the PPI.

Misery Level Declines in Topeka and Other Kansas Metros

Between 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.