Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Wichita economy is Steaming ahead

Wichita's unemployment rate falls further below the national average

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that Wichita's job market was stronger than the national job market. Our unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent in February compared to 4.6 percent in January and 4.9 percent in the America as a whole.

Strong job growth

Employment, as measured by the Bureau's survey of Wichita's payrolls, grew 3.9 percent over February last year an increase of thirty nine hundred jobs. Strong orders in the aerospace industry have fueled this growth. Recent new orders data confirm that this sector is booming even while other key parts of manufacturing weaken. The news in the automotive industry, for example, continues to be weak.

Aerospace leads the way

Aerospace seems to be on the boom part of traditional boom and bust cycle. Although the domestic economic growth appears to be cooling off, foreign demand continues strong and a strong replacement demand exists in the U.S. as it battered airlines nurture their balance sheets back into health. Moreover, a new IMF study argues that the rest of the world is less vulnerable to a U.S. economic slowdown.

The Department of Commerce reported that the unfilled order backlog for the aerospace indutry was up 31.3 percent in February. The growth was almost entirely in the non defense book was up almost 40 percent.

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