Kansas Employment Decline Continues

I know this is exactly the same title as this December post, but it still applies. The comparison to its neighbor Missouri throws in sharp relief the enormity of the Kansas catastrophe.

First, the better measured series from the establishment survey, nonfarm payroll employment.

Figure 1: Log nonfarm payroll employment in Kansas (red) and Missouri (blue), both normalized to 2011M01=0. Source: BLS and author’s calculations.

And here is overall civilian employment from the household survey, which includes farmers as well as self-employed.

Figure 2: Log civilian employment in Kansas (red) and Missouri (blue), both normalized to 2011M01=0. Source: BLS and author’s calculations.

According to both of these employment series, Kansas is still performing poorly — all too predictable given the fiscal mess imposed by the Governor’s intransigence.

I will also note that the decline in employment is unsurprising given the fact that — based on the coincident index — Kansas looks like it is in recession, using a Markov switching model.

Chart 1. Business Cycles of Tenth District States, for Kansas and Missouri

11 thoughts on “Kansas Employment Decline Continues

  1. rd

    I always thought that it was difficult, especially in the short run, for governors to have significant positive effects on the economy. Apparently Kansas and Wisconsin are proving that you can have significant negative effects quite easily. Kansas may be good for people sitting on lots of cash and unearned income but the average guy trying to get his kids educated, using the roads to get around or just finding a job is kind of out of luck. If we ever get a good economy going you would thing there would be high rates of out migration.

    1. sherparick

      The effects will be long term with declining education and public investment. Walker and Brownback will be the gifts that keep on giving for the next 50 years. But the Koch Brothers (Kansas) and Hendricks, Menard, and the Johnson Family (Wisconsin), billionaires all will enjoy their feudal privileges in their realms.,

  2. BigEd

    Maybe we could have a discussion of economic policies without expressions of resentment of the rich.

  3. baffling

    at what point will any conservative admit the economic experiments of kansas were a failure?

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Steve Kopits: How many times do I have to say “fixed effects”? Over the 1976-2106M09 period, Missouri unemployment averages 6.05%, Kansas 4.70%. So the fact the current unemployment rates are so close is really bad news for KS.

      1. Steven Kopits

        Yeah, I was pulling your chain a bit.

        I think it’s important to note, whether you’re a conservative or not, that understanding the numbers and related dynamics are important. Ideology may inform the objectives of policy, but it is not policy of itself.

        I’m thinking of writing a piece on this, maybe for CNBC. One of the key problems of the Trump administration is that they have a weak understanding of the actual numbers and functional relationships. Bannon carries the title of chief strategist, but he’s really the chief ideologist. This is an important post, but he’s missing a numbers guy. He needs a policy designer, someone who can convert ideology into comprehensible and acceptable policy.

  4. Jake formerly of the LP

    On a related note, in today’s “gold standard” Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages.

    Total private sector change in jobs Sept 2015-Sept 2016

    Minn +40,089
    Wis +25,562

    Guess which state used its billion-dollar surplus on investments (especially in education), and guess which state cut enacted major cuts to higher ed and local governments to close a deficit due to stupid tax cuts?

    TRICKLE DOWN HAS FAILED. Admit it and own it, kiddos

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