The Local Health Officer in Sedgwick County, Kansas authorized an emergency order on March 25, 2020, for individuals within the county to stay at home and only leave their residence to perform essential activities. Essential activities include health and safety, for themselves and for others. The order also identifies essential businesses that will remain functioning throughout the emergency order.
The Center for Economic Development and Business Research has identified the number of jobs, establishments, and wages classified as essential and nonessential. Based on the order, approximately 40 percent of all establishments with Sedgwick County were classified as essential. Those almost 5,000 essential establishments support more than 103,000 jobs with a total annual payroll of 3.97 billion dollars and comprise 46.8 percent of local employment. The top five broad sectors in terms of total jobs include health, food service, education, and banking. These industries account for 36 percent of all employment within Sedgwick County.
The remaining 60% of business establishments within the county were identified as nonessential. The nonessential businesses account for more than 117,000 jobs and a total annual payroll of 6.6 billion dollars.
It should be noted that the delineation of essential and nonessential businesses does not necessarily mirror the impact on the regional economy. Some workers that have already lost jobs that were identified within an essential industry, such as food services. Alternatively, many workers within nonessential businesses continue to work at home without significant disruption.