Unemployment in Kansas rose slightly in August, but Gov. Mark Parkinson said Tuesday that a modest gain in jobs over the previous year showed that the state's economy is improving.


Unemployment in Kansas rose slightly in August, but Gov. Mark Parkinson said Tuesday that a modest gain in jobs over the previous year showed that the state's economy is improving.

The state Department of Labor reported that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6 percent last month, compared with 6.5 percent in July. The rate was 7.2 percent in August 2009.

The adjusted rate takes seasonal fluctuations in employment into account. For example, Kansas lost about 1,100 jobs in August, but state officials say some losses are normal. Had the data not been adjusted, the state's unemployment rate would have dropped slightly from July to August.

Department of Labor officials were focusing most on a gain of 6,900 jobs in August compared with the same month in 2009. The employment growth was about 0.5 percent.

"This month's labor report is another indication that Kansas continues on the road to recovery," Parkinson said in a statement. "For the second straight month, Kansas businesses are seeing job growth during the course of the year, and our unemployment rate remains one of the lowest in the country."

In July, employment was 0.1 percent higher than it had been in July 2009, the first time since October 2008 that Kansas hadn't seen a lower figure.