Jobs picture in Kansas remains largely unchanged; new data raise concerns about pace of economic recovery

The state unemployment situation continued to hover around the same level, raising concerns about a sluggish recovery on the job front.

The July jobless rate was 6.8 percent, up from 6.7 percent in June and down from 7.3 percent in July 2010, according to the Kansas Department of Labor. The seasonably adjusted rate was 6.5 percent for July, down from 6.6 percent in June and down from 7 percent in July 2010.

State officials said they detected slow growth, especially the pickup of 2,400 private sector jobs since June.

"Private sector jobs continued to grow last month -- albeit at a snail's pace," said Kansas Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee. She said there were some encouraging job gains in education and health services.

Tyler Tenbrink, a Labor Department economist, said, "Kansas experienced its second month of very slow growth in private non-farm jobs, increasing the risk of a stagnant recovery in the labor market."

Statewide, there were 19,706 initial claims for unemployment benefits in July, up from 18,884 initial claims in June and down from 23,907 in July 2010. There were 192,155 continued claims in July, down from 195,006 in June and down from 249,950 in July 2010.

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