Unemployment at 4.1 percent for November

By The Mercury

Riley County’s jobless rate stood at 4.1 percent during November, according to information released Friday by the Kansas Department of Labor.

That figure was 1.3 percentage points below the statewide 5.4 percent rate, which reflected a slight drop from the 5.7 percent October rate.

Rates for other area counties were 6.5 percent in Geary County, 4.3 percent in Pottawatomie County, 5.1 percent in Wabaunsee County, 4.4 percent in Clay County, and a regional low 3.7 percent in Marshall County.

The Manhattan metro area, which includes Riley, Pottawatomie, and Geary counties, had a 4.7 percent rate, up slightly from the month before but below last year’s 5.4 percent rate.

The city’s jobless rate was listed as 4.0 percent, down from the 4.6 percent figure for November of 2011 but up from October’s 3.8 percent rate.

“The Kansas labor market continues to move in a positive direction. The indicators are moving in the right direction, the unemployment rate is declining, however annual job growth has been slow,” said Lana Gordon, interim Secretary of Labor.

Kansas gained 4,900 private sector jobs and 4,700 nonfarm jobs since one year ago, increases of 0.4 and 0.3 percent respectively. Since October, the state added 1,700 nonfarm jobs and 1,100 private sector jobs.

Tyler Tenbrink, a state labor economist, characterized the overall labor market as “uncertain.” He added, however, that the November labor report shows some evidence of improvement, citing a third consecutive month of decline while the labor force has remained stable.

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