Kansas agency finds increase in job vacancies
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Job vacancies increased in Kansas during the second quarter of 2012 compared to a year earlier, according to a report Wednesday from the state Department of Labor.
The report found an estimated 36,000 vacancies from April to June, a 17.3 percent increase over the second quarter of 2011.
During the quarter, Kansas averaged 88,739 unemployed workers. That meant about 2.5 workers for every job vacancy, which was an improvement from 2011, when there were 3.2 unemployed workers for every job opening.
By comparison, there were 1.3 unemployed persons for every job vacancy for the second quarter of 2008.
Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee said the survey shows positive movement for unemployed workers who are looking for work.
"Fortunately, more jobs are available now than a year ago to meet the needs of the unemployed," Brownlee said.
The Kansas unemployment rate was a seasonally adjusted 6.3 percent in July, the most recent figure available. It was 6.1 percent from April to June, while the rate was 6.7 percent in April and May 2011 and 6.8 percent in June 2011.
The most vacancies were in the education and health services, followed by leisure and hospitality. Food preparation and serving workers were the two most vacant jobs in the state at the time of the survey.
Jennifer Garrett, supervisor of the survey for the Department of Labor, said the survey is a good resource for determining the educational and training needs of workers and the needs of employers.
The survey found that 71.4 percent of the job vacancies had no educational requirement or only required a high school diploma. Those needing a bachelor's or advanced degree were 13.7 percent. The average wage for the vacancies was $11.73 an hour, ranging from $9.29 for those with no education requirements to $29.85 an hour for advanced degrees.