Lather, rinse, repeat: The Kansas jobs numbers out on Friday morning for September are bad, bad, bad, bad and bad.
They show, once again, that Gov. Sam Brownback’s recent tour touting his 2012 income tax cuts as a ray of “sunshine” for the state’s employment market is a total sham.
The Kansas Department of Labor and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed the ugly numbers.
Bad: Kansas had 600 fewer jobs in September than in August.
Bad: The Sunflower State had 2,100 fewer private sector jobs in September than in August.
Bad: The unemployment rate went up again to 4.4 percent, from 4.3 percent in August.
Bad: Over the last year, Kansas had the 6th worst jobs “growth” rate in the entire nation, at minus 0.4 percent. That equals a loss of 5,900 in total employment.
Bad: Kansas has now lost 500 jobs in the entire 20 months of Brownback’s second term — in which he had pledged to add 2,000 jobs every single month.
That’s right. Instead of having about 40,000 newly employed people in that time, Kansas has lost 500 jobs.
UPDATED 4 PM: Brownback policy analyst Ian Fury earlier Friday tweeted that unemployment rates also were rising in Kansas’ neighboring states. Alas, Fury and Brownback don’t understand that the most crucial metric in measuring job growth is, well, actual jobs.
So I checked to see how those surrounding states had done over the last year, even though their unemployment rates have been going up, as has the one in Kansas. The result: Four are doing far better than Kansas over the last year; only one is doing worse.
Colorado: up 69,200 jobs, or 2.7 percent
Iowa: up 29,600, or 1.9 percent
Missouri: up 31,100 jobs, or 1.1 percent
Nebraska, up 8,600 jobs or 1.0 percent
Oklahoma, down 11,300 jobs or 0.7 percent.
Does all of this sound familiar?
The numbers have been exasperatingly low for months. Kansas has been in the bottom 10 of national jobs growth for most of the last 18 months. Here’s a short trip down ugly memory lane:
Yes, Kansans are used to seeing this kind of dismal information and shaking their heads at it.
It all wouldn’t be so galling if Brownback would just fess up and admit that the state has big problems, starting with the excessive and reckless tax cuts he championed four years ago.
Instead, he barges forward on some kind of hollow victory tour, oblivious to the economic problems he has created for the Sunflower State.
It’s yet another reason voters need to send more moderate Republicans and Democrats to the Legislature on Nov. 8.