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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
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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.


Wichita Regional Economy Suffered Unforeseen Setbacks

Wichita Economy Year-in-ReviewNationally, 2014 was a year of strengthening recovery, while the Wichita regional economy suffered some unforeseen setbacks that kept the economy from reaching its full potential. At the national level, real GDP grew by 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014, after growing 4.6 percent in the second quarter, and employment grew 1.8 percent through the first eleven months of 2014. Due to a sharp contraction in the production sectors, the Wichita metropolitan area experienced growth weaker than the national average, with employment increasing by 1,312 jobs through the first ten months of 2014, for 0.3 percent growth.

Back in January 2014, the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) at Wichita State University released its 2014 forecast, predicting 2,623 jobs would be added to the Wichita economy in 2014. Given the Wichita economy’s performance in the first ten months of 2014, it is unlikely that the Wichita economy will grow by the 2,623 forecasted for 2014. Outside of the production sectors, CEDBR’s sector forecasts for Wichita employment have been largely accurate. CEDBR will be releasing its updated 2015 employment forecasts on January 5th, 2015.

Read the complete article.


Employment Increased Across Kansas Metros

Employment in KansasThe unemployment rate for Kansas, as a whole, decreased 0.5 percentage point from September to October. All of the Kansas MSAs experienced decreases, also, ranging from 0.6 in the Wichita MSA and Manhattan MSA to a 0.5 and 0.7 percentage point decrease in the Topeka and Lawrence MSAs, respectively.

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

Learn more.

Producer Price Index Up for Aircraft, Natural Gas, and Slaughter Livestock

Producer Price Index UpThe 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 November 2014 data shows the Midwest inflation rate decreased in both urban metros and non-metro urban areas from October to November.

The Producer Price Index data shows that prices in the United States have increased from November 2013 to November 2014 for aircraft (1.7 percent), natural gas (1.2 percent), and slaughter livestock (31.0 percent). During that same time period, crude petroleum decreased 17.4 percent, sorghum prices decreased 7.8 percent and wheat decreased 9.3 percent. 

Access this slide presentation.

Learn more about the CPI.

Learn more about the PPI.

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. 

Current Level of Economic Activity in Wichita Marginally Below 2013 Level

WSU IndicesFrom September to October, the WSU Current Conditions Index decreased 0.1 percent, and the Leading Index increased 0.2 percent. The change from October 2013 to October 2014 in the Current Conditions Index shows a decrease of 0.5 percent and the Leading Index shows an increase of 0.2 percent. In addition, the Leading Index is forecasting a 1.11 percent increase in economic activity over the next six months. 

Read a further analysis of the monthly Index activity.

Access Index data.


2014 3rd Quarter Wichita Industry News and Developments

Wichita Industry News and Developments 2014, 3rd QuarterThe 3rd Quarter 2014 issue of Wichita Industry News and Developments, which provides a brief overview of statistical trends and major announcements by industry sector, is now available. The report covers the Wichita MSA.

Access the full report.

Access the industry employment slides.

Kansas Employment-Population Ratio Highest Level Since 2010

Kansas Employment-Population RatioBoth the Kansas and Sedgwick County employment‐population ratio declined substantially in the 2008 recession. The Kansas ratio fell by over 2 percentage points during the recession, which was less than the national average. Meanwhile, the Sedgwick County ratio fell by over 7 percentage points during the recession and shortly afterwards, a larger drop than the national average.

In 2014, the Kansas employment‐population ratio rose to 65.1 percent, its highest level since 2010, due to strong employment growth. This is a one percentage point increase from its lowest level in 2013, but the ratio is still 2.3 percentage points below its pre‐recession peak.
The Sedgwick County employment‐population ratio also increased slightly throughout 2014, following a decline in 2013. In 2013, the Sedgwick County ratio was the lowest it had been since 1990. Even after the improvement throughout 2014, the ratio still remains over 7 percentage points below its pre‐recession peak.

Misery Index Increased for All Metropolitan Areas in Kansas

Misery Index in WichitaBetween the second and third quarters of 2014 the general level of misery experienced by people in the United States increased slightly. This can be attributed to the increase in both the inflation rate and the unemployment rate. Despite experiencing a third quarter increase in misery, Kansans continue to experience a lower level of misery than the nation as a whole.

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 third quarter report.


Employment in Technician and Technologist Occupations Has Grown

Technician and Technologists Employed in Wichita MSAEmployment in the various technologist and technician 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 1,400 workers, they provide valuable services to the community.

In the Wichita metropolitan area, employment in the technologist and technician occupations has grown between 2008 and 2013. The two exceptions are radiologic technologists and nuclear medicine technologists, two occupations that have also decreased in numbers at the national level.
This report details both the state and national employment levels, as well as average wages, for surgical technologists, radiologic technologists, nuclear medicine technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers, cardiovascular technologists and technicians, and medical and clinical laboratory technicians.

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.