Kansas: More People Seek Jobs As Unemployment Rises To 3.8%

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' unemployment rate rose slightly in July to 3.8%, and state labor officials said that the increase was tied to more people seeking work.

The state Department of Labor reported Friday that Kansas had about 5,900 more people working in private-sector, nonfarm jobs in July than in June. It was the second consecutive month that unemployment rose; the seasonally adjusted rate was 3.7% in June and 3.5% in May.

The labor force grew by about 2,400 people in July from June, while an additional 1,700 were unable to find jobs. About 1.51 million people were in the labor force in July, and almost 58,000 were unemployed.

State Labor Secretary Amber Shultz, said the numbers show "more Kansans are entering the labor market and actively looking for work.”

Unemployment in Kansas peaked at 12.6% in April 2020 with a statewide stay-at-home order in effect to check COVID-19's spread.

The department reminded Kansas residents that week that additional unemployment benefits provided by federal coronavirus relief laws will end Sept. 4.

Republican legislators and business leaders had pushed Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to end the extra benefits earlier, arguing that they discouraged people from seeking work. She said other factors were more to blame, such as a lack of child care.

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