Friday, January 05, 2007

National Employment

The national unemployment rate was 4.5 percent and national payrolls grew by 167,000 jobs in December. In November, Wichita's unemployment rate fell to three tenths percent below the national employment rate.

Although the transportation sector (which includes the aircraft industry) lost five thousand jobs nationwide, the losses were overwhelmingly were among firms producing motor vehicles and parts. The American automotive industry is suffering from both a declining vehicle market and stiff foreign competition. Employment in motor vehicles and parts has declined 4.9 percent over the last twelve months while jobs in the rest of the transportation equipment sector increased by two percent.

Overall, employment is doing well. Jobs were 1.4 percent higher in December, 2006 than in December, 2005. This steady growth seems to be holding up despite the economy's slower second half growth (see the chart.)

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