Kansas Economy Lagging Behind Rest of Country

A Wichita State University business research center report says the Kansas economy is growing far slower than the rest of the nation.

The report released Thursday by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research forecasts sluggish growth for the state next year.

The center’s own director, Jeremy Hill, says employment nationwide increased by 2.1 percent the past 12 months, while Kansas employment increased by less than 1 percent, or 0.9 percent. The report forecasts Kansas employment next year to grow 1.4 percent. If realized, that would mean 19,958 jobs.

Hill attributed the slow growth to problems in the agriculture, oil and manufacturing industries. Wages for 80 percent of workers have shown no real growth, hurting the retail industry.