economy

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An employment forecast released Thursday projects continued economic growth for both the Wichita area and Kansas next year.

Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) conducts industry-level employment surveys each year to help formulate its forecasts.

CEDBR Director Jeremy Hill says the Wichita area is expected to grow about 0.5% in 2020, adding about 1,600 new jobs. The workforce expanded by 1.3% this year.

He says the slow job growth pattern is a turnaround from 2017 when the region lost jobs.

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The Kansas economy has been sluggish the past few years, but the candidates running for governor each have a plan to jumpstart things.

Will any of them actually work?

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The Wichita Community Foundation has created a $1 million fund to help the city deal with workforce issues.

The Talent Ecosystem Fund is meant to attack challenges identified by the Focus Forward project, according to a news release. Among those challenges is attracting a talented workforce to Wichita.

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The farm economy is showing some stability, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says, but the upswing doesn’t extend to all agricultural sectors.

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new estimate from the Emporia State Economic Index shows Kansas’ economy started to level off in October. 

The GDP for the state shrank slightly by 0.1 percent from September. That follows months of strong growth after a low point in March. There is some positive news: Kansas' GDP grew 1.7 percent since October 2016.

An economic expert says changes to the international trading system could slow down manufacturing exports in the Wichita area.

Jeremy Hill  is the director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State. He released the 2018 employment forecast earlier this month.

Hill says despite a growing global economy government trade policies and restrictions could impact exports.

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The employment forecast for the Wichita area shows little to no job growth in 2018.

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A monthly survey of business leaders suggests that in Kansas and other Midwestern and Great Plains states, business conditions worsened slightly in July, but should improve.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index dipped by 6 points in July, falling to 56.6. Overall, the survey's index range is from 0 to 100; an index greater than 50 indicates an expanding economy.

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A report out of Creighton University reveals that the Kansas economy is showing growth, but lagging behind in a nine-state region.

The forecasting group’s overall index ranges between 0 and 100. An index greater than 50 means an expanding economy. Kansas received a 56 index for April, an increase from 52 in March. Four states received a 61 index, with South Dakota receiving the region's high of 69.

Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss, who oversees the report, says Kansas is growing, but at a slower rate than the rest of the region.

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Our Kansas elections coverage team is taking questions (submit yours here). 

One question that seems to come up almost every election season is why people sometimes vote against their own best interests -- specifically their economic interests.

Diane Wahto of Wichita asked it this way:

“Why do Kansans often vote against their best interests? ... When we don't have money to fix the highways or fund social programs, who cares about those other things?”

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