• Kansas
  • Wichita
  • Kansas City
  • Topeka

Kansas Employment Forecast

Released October 3, 2019  (See previous version.)

Total employment in Kansas grew 0.9 percent in 2018 to approximately 1,415,800 workers, which added more than 12,000 new workers to the Kansas economy. The growth was broad-based, with all major sectors of the economy adding jobs. This marked a notable upswing in the Kansas economy after growing by less than 4,000 in 2016 and 2017 combined. Kansas’ unemployment rate continued its eightyear-long trend of decline in 2018 to reach 3.4 percent, the lowest level for the state in 20 years. Unemployment continued to decline for the state into 2019, falling to 3.3 percent in June 2019. Employment growth is expected to continue throughout the year, expanding by a projected 0.8 percent in 2019. Growth is projected to slow modestly in 2020 to 0.6 percent, adding approximately 9,000 new jobs to the state economy. However, due to high levels of uncertainty at both the national and global levels, and elevated national recessionary risks, the projected range for Kansas employment is between 1.1 percent and approximately zero growth.

 

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Wichita Employment Forecast

Released October 3, 2019 (See previous version.)

Total nonfarm employment in the Wichita metropolitan area* grew 1.2 percent in 2018, with 3,500 new jobs created to bring the area’s employment to 298,600 workers. This was a turnaround after Wichita’s total employment declined by 2,200 jobs in 2017. Wichita’s unemployment rate declined for the eighth straight year in 2018 to 3.7 percent, the area’s lowest unemployment rate in the 21st century. Employment growth is projected to continue for the area through 2019, expanding the workforce by 1.3 percent. For 2020, growth is expected to be more modest, as the Wichita economy is projected to add approximately 1,600 new jobs and grow 0.5 percent. The projected range of growth for Wichita’s employment is between 0.1 and 1 percent for 2020, as continued national growth would continue to fuel local growth, but a national or global recession could adversely affect Wichita’s export-oriented industries, such as manufacturing.

 

*The Wichita metropolitan consists of Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey, Kingman, and Sumner counties.

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Kansas City Employment Forecast

Released  October 3, 2019 (See previous version.)

Total nonfarm employment in the Kansas City, MO-KS, metropolitan area* grew by 1.1 percent in 2018, adding 11,800 new jobs. While this growth outpaced both the Kansas and Missouri state averages for employment growth, it still represented slower growth than the Kansas City area experienced from 2013 to 2017, when the area averaged 2 percent. With the continued employment growth, the unemployment rate declined in 2018 to 3.4 percent, its lowest level since 2000. In 2019, growth is expected to increase to 1.4 percent and the economy is projected to add more than 15,000 jobs. For 2020, employment is forecast to slow modestly to 0.9 percent as recessionary fears mount and a tight job market limits the upper end of growth, with the expected range of growth ranging from 0.2 percent to 1.5 percent

*The Kansas City, MO-KS, metropolitan area includes Bates, Caldwell, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Jackson, Lafayette, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri and Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.

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Topeka Employment Forecast

Released October 3, 2019 (See previous version.)

The Topeka metropolitan area’s* total nonfarm employment grew by 0.3 percent in 2018, adding 300 jobs after the local economy contracted by 800 jobs in 2017. This was a return to the area’s 2011 to 2016 growth pattern, as the area averaged slightly more than 300 jobs annually in that period. The goods producing sectors were the fastest growing in 2018, with the manufacturing sector leading the way with approximately 300 jobs. Unemployment continued its decline in the area for its eighth consecutive year, declining to 3.5 percent, its second-lowest recorded value for the area since 1990. Growth is expected to continue in 2019, adding more than 1,000 jobs, primarily concentrated in the education and health services sector. For 2020, employment is forecast to grow 0.3 percent for the area, with a projected range between 0.6 percent growth and a 0.3 percent decline. The lower-bound range reflects the risk for the local economy due to potential national recessionary concerns.

*The Topeka metropolitan area consists of Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, Shawnee, and Wabaunsee counties in Kansas.

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PREDICTED VALUE ON AUGUST 31, 2018

The contestants in CEDBR’s S&P 500 Prediction Challenge each gave a prediction for the value of the S&P 500 stock market index on August 31st, 2018.  As of November 5th, the closing date for entries into the Challenge, the S&P 500 index was valued at 2,587.  The median prediction among the contestants for the S&P 500 Index is 2,663.58 points.  On average, contestants predicted that the S&P 500 will increase by 3 percent over the next ten months, after the index increased by 14.6 percent this year to date.

Approximately 60 percent of the contestants predicted that the stock market would increase in 2018 over its November 2017 value.  Many of their predictions were more bullish than major analysts forecast for 2018.  Recently, analysts at Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup forecast the S&P 500 to reach 2,500 points, 2,600 points, and 2,675 points, respectively, in 2018. The Federal Reserve Board has forecast continued economic growth in 2018, with modest inflationary expectations and a half point increase in the Federal Funds rate projected.

S&P 500 Prediction Challenge Responses

August 31st, 2018 Forecast

November 3rd, 2017

Predicted Change

Median

2,663

2,587

+79

Mean

2,584

2,587

-3

Minimum

1,772

2,587

-815

Maximum

3,065

2,587

+478