Good news, Kansans: The state added 4,200 jobs in February. Now for the rest of the story.
— The Department of Labor reported Friday that the Sunflower State’s total nonfarm employment is actually 400 below where it was a year ago, in February 2016.
— That’s an annual “growth” rate of 0.0 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s sixth worst in the nation, only better than West Virginia, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Alaska and Wyoming.
— Even the surge of Kansas jobs in February — which brought employment to 1,411,200 — left the state far short of its totals throughout large parts of 2016. The high was 1,415,600 nonfarm jobs last September.
— Since Gov. Sam Brownback’s second term began in January 2015, Kansas’ total employment is up by 14,600. That’s far below the goal he set of adding 25,000 jobs a year — or around 53,000 by this point.
The employment story was quite a bit more positive in Missouri.
The state added 3,500 jobs in February, bringing the total growth for the last year to a staggering 54,000 jobs. That’s a growth rate of 1.9 percent, which was 13th best in the country.
U.S. employment over the year was up 1.6 percent.
One more time: Brownback’s 2012 income tax cuts — which he sold as a way to boost jobs — have failed abysmally to do that. Meanwhile, they have wrecked the state budget for years to come and deprived Kansans of valuable services they deserve.
The Legislature needs to fully repeal the tax cuts, including the unfair ones for owners of LLCs, to put the state back into a more positive financial situation.