The September job picture for Kansas was brighter than in August but not as promising as a year ago, with Marion County’s jobless rate near the state mark at 6.3 percent.
Marion County is among several counties in the region with an unemployment rate of more than 6 percent. The highest rate is in Elk County at 11 percent. The lowest rates in the state are 3.2 percent in Sheridan, Scott, and Riley counties.
According to the Department of Labor’s monthly report, Kansas businesses lost 59,700 jobs in the past year, a 4.3 percent decrease. The September unemployment rate was 6.9 percent, down from 7.2 percent in August but more than a year ago at 4.6 percent in September 2008.
Most major industries reported statewide losses for the year. Losses were highest in manufacturing, which hemorrhaged 26,400 jobs during the year. Professional and business services lost 13,400 jobs and trade, transportation, and utilities lost 8,700 jobs.
The mining and logging industry reported modest job gains, despite overall state losses.
There were 17,501 initial claims for unemployment benefits in September, down from 20,677 initial claims in August but up from September 2008, when initial claims numbered 12,703.
More than 180,000 Kansans filed continued claims for unemployment benefits in September, down from more than 222,000 in August. In September 2008, claims were 109,253.