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CORONAVIRUS: State, area jobless rates jump between March and April as local manufacturers note varying degrees of success Featured

CORONAVIRUS: State, area jobless rates jump between March and April as local manufacturers note varying degrees of success Kansas Department of Labor graphic

Not surprisingly, coronavirus forced a spike in unemployment numbers from March to April across Kansas.


The state jobless rate went from 2.8 percent in March to 11.2 percent in April. Labor Department senior economist Emilie Doerksen says available jobs declined through the month as well.

Locally, Emporia's jobless rate went from 2.8 percent to 7.7 percent, while Lyon County's unemployment rate jumped from 2.8 percent to 7.5 percent.

Areawide, month-to-month:

*Chase County went from 2.7 percent, lowest in the KVOE listening area, to 10 percent -- the highest area total
*Coffey County went from 3.7 percent to 8.2 percent
*Greenwood County went from 3.2 percent to 9.3 percent
*Morris County went from 2.9 percent to 6.9 percent
*Osage County went from 3.3 percent to 9.9 percent
*Wabaunsee County went from 3.1 percent to 7.5 percent

The state report comes as the Regional Development Association continues tracking the impact coronavirus has had on the industrial business sector. On KVOE's Morning Show on Thursday, President Kent Heermann said businesses deemed as essential by the federal government, especially when it comes to food, have done well. Manufacturers not in the food industry haven't had that level of success.

Businesses locally have taken several steps to get through the pandemic, including the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, loan extensions through their local banks, layoffs, furloughs and the Kansas Shared Work Program -- where businesses can reduce the work hours of all employees and have the difference covered by the state program.

At the state level, the Kansas Department of Labor has been dealing with a crush of phone calls, emails and website traffic over the past two-plus months as residents try to line up benefits or gain more information. More information about the current labor situation is online at www.dol.ks.gov. More information about benefits is available online at www.GetKansasBenefits.gov

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