Kansas employment declined 1.5 percent in 2010. Although the rate is higher than the U.S., Kansas entered the recession six months later than the U.S. The unemployment rate has declined a full percentage point since its peak rate of 8.2 percent in July 2009. In March 2011, the unemployment rate in Kansas was 7.1 percent. That being said, the unemployment rate has increased 0.7 percentage point since December 2010. A weak expansion is expected to continue throughout 2011 for a modest net employment gain of about 0.4 percent.
On April 28, 2011, first quarter real GDP estimates were released and confirmed a lackluster start to 2011. Real GDP increased at a rate of 1.8 percent, the slowest rate since second quarter 2010. In addition to new GDP estimates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS" style="text-align: left; has continued to correct and revise existing labor data. As of April 30, 2011, BLS data reveals that Wichita's employment declined 3 percent in 2010, and first quarter 2011 employment continued to drag. With lower than expected GDP and world growth, Wichita's total nonfarm employment is expected to exhibit little to no growth for the remainder of 2011.
To read the complete 2011 forecast revision for Wichita, click here.