Jobs report positive, need for workers still high in Kansas

In a visit to Wichita, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly addressed an ongoing challenge to fill out a skilled workforce in the state.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 8:21 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A positive jobs report coming out Friday showed the U.S. economy adding more than 500,000 jobs in July and the national unemployment rate at 3.5 percent. In Kansas, the rate is even lower at 2.4 percent, but in a visit to Wichita Friday, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly addressed an ongoing challenge to fill out a skilled workforce in the state.

Kelly made a stop in Wichita days after the primary election to hear from small business operators facing workforce challenges.

“I know that we have workforce issues here. A lot of our companies are having a hard time finding folks to take jobs,” Kelly said.

Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas President Keith Lawing explained how challenges persist with the low unemployment rate.

“Every employer I talk to, they want to hire somebody. I think people are looking for a better job than they currently have, so a lot of these folks are already employed,” Lawing said. “That is a much different dynamic than in previous years when we were working with a pretty good population of unemployed individuals.”

As part of the governor’s Prosperity on the Plains Tour, operators in I.T., wind energy, healthcare billing and construction shared their perspective in a roundtable discussion.

“Obviously Wichita is headquarters for a lot of business, a lot of technology, a lot of aviation and we have a great need, always have for the workforce for those particular kind of business sectors,” Kelly said. “So, I really wanted to listen to them, hear what it is we’re doing right (and) what we could do better to make a difference.”

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