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2.7.24 -Derby Informer – By Informer Staff  

The Wichita State University Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) recently released its 2024-2025 employment forecast for the state of Kansas and its major metropolitan areas.

For the state overall, economically, things continue to look rosy moving forward in 2024. In 2023, Kansas’ numbers rebounded strongly– surpassing both national and Plains region averages in each quarter.

Kansas’ economic growth peaked at 9.4% in the third quarter of 2023, which was significantly higher than the national (4.8%) and regional (5.1%) averages in the same period. That increase was driven primarily by agriculture and manufacturing.

Employment numbers in 2023 were equally strong, contributing to the economic success. Kansas saw a growth rate of 1.9% on the year, significantly more than its natural rate or historical average.

Job growth looks to continue an optimistic trend in 2024, with the CEDBR projecting more growth – albeit more modest (0.5%) – in 2024. A slight reduction (0.4% growth) is projected in 2024, pointing to a maturing economy. The services sector (0.9%) – particularly information services (3%) – is projected to see largest industry growth around Kansas in 2024.

In the Wichita region, continued employment growth was also seen throughout 2023 and while that is predicted to slow down as in Kansas overall, Wichita is projected to see a little more growth (0.7%, or almost 2,300 new jobs) than Kansas as a whole in 2024.

For the Wichita region, the growth sectors are a little different, with the biggest boost projected in the production sector (1%) in 2024 – particularly in durables production (1.6%), driven by excessive demand in aerospace manufacturing.

While the CEDBR predicted the state’s economy to hold strong in 2024 and 2025 – buoyed by continued investment in Kansas’ strengths (agriculture and manufacturing) – it was noted that the impact of oil price spikes, wage competitiveness and other factors are worth monitoring in the years ahead