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It’s a rate that’s even lower than pre-pandemic Kansas

The Kansas unemployment rate declined in January to 2.6%, federal and state agencies said Friday, to the lowest level in more than a decade.

The COVID-19 pandemic hijacked the nation’s economy in April 2020 to drive the jobless rate in Kansas to an astonishing 12.2%. It was above 5% for six months, before sliding to 4.7% by October 2020. The gradual decline placed the figure at 3.8% by January 2021 and 2.9% in October 2021.

In the latest report from the Kansas Department of Labor and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state’s unemployment rate hit 2.6% in January. There were 39,000 Kansans without a job last month, a sharp decline from 56,000 unemployed in January 2021.

Kansas started 2022 with strong job growth, with estimates showing 8,500 jobs added in January,” said Amber Shultz, secretary at the state Department of Labor.

In the pre-pandemic period of the Kelly administration, the unemployment rate in Kansas was stuck at 3.1% for 13 consecutive months. It has now been below 3.1% in each of the five months from September to January.

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