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Wichita State's CEDBR updates 2010 Wichita and Kansas forecasts

Monday, December 21, 2009 | Share

The Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University has updated its 2010 employment forecast for the Wichita MSA. According to the forecast, Wichita is expected to incur a decrease in total nonfarm employment of 0.5 percent, or more than 1,650 jobs, in 2010, after a decrease of 2.3 percent in 2009.

Wichita’s economic situation is confirmed by the WSU Current Conditions Index, which tends to mirror the current Wichita economy.

The Current Index has maintained a steady decline during the past year. From its peak in October 2007, the index declined 24.6 percent through third quarter 2009.

An encouraging development is a 13.9 percent decline in the number of initial unemployment claims in Kansas from second to third quarter.

There are also positive signs in regard to the aircraft industry. The national inflation-adjusted value of new orders for aircraft and parts increased 5.2 percent from second to third quarter, and the aerospace stock index increased 9 percent.

In summary, national conditions show increased consumer confidence, overall economic growth and an increase in home sales. Unfortunately, this growth is not yet apparent in labor markets.

Although the picture is less bleak, the overall economic conditions in Wichita will remain negative through the middle of 2010, with mild growth expected in the second half of the year.

To see a chart of Wichita employment by industry, go to http://www.wichita.edu/j/?360.

Kansas forecast

As for the entire state, Kansas is expected to decrease jobs by 0.5 percent, or nearly 6,450 jobs in 2010, after a decrease of 3.2 percent in 2009.

Signs of economic weakness continue to affect the state. The aircraft industry has experienced significant losses, with more than 12,000 employee layoffs announced in the Wichita MSA between October 2008 and November 2009, but the pace has slowed.

In addition to decreases in employment, the number of outbound air passengers decreased 8.7 percent at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport while declining 10.9 percent at Kansas City’s International Airport for the 12 months ending October 2008 compared to the 12 months ending October 2009.

Economic strengths have begun to emerge.

The number of people unemployed in Kansas declined by more than 23,000 individuals from the peak of more than 120,000 in July, to less than 98,000 in October. Creighton University’s October leading economic indicator for Kansas finally reached 50, pointing toward growth in the near future.

The indicators, when taken together, point to a slower pace of decline as reflected in the Kansas forecast for the remainder of 2009, with a sluggish rebound beginning in the second quarter of 2010.

To see a chart of Kansas employment by industry, go to http://www.wichita.edu/j/?361.

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Created on Monday, December 21, 2009; Last modified on Monday, December 21, 2009