Each month, economic indicators will be updated here through a partnership between the EDC and the Mid-America Regional Council. MARC is a nonprofit association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region.

Employment growth in Lawrence has been gradually declining since February 2022 but in June, Lawrence saw a sharp decline in employment. Employment decreased by 1,200 jobs even after accounting for seasonal adjustment. This drop in employment erased much of the gains Lawrence saw in the last few months. The unemployment rate remained stable at 2.3%. Overall, June’s employment numbers continue to show signs of slowing economic growth.

Lawrence ranks 4th overall among nearby metros. Total 12-month employment growth increased by 0.2%. Wichita (2.2%) and Kansas City (1.4%) are both showing signs of slowing growth as well, while Topeka’s 12-month employment declined 0.3%. Total private hourly earnings showed a slight uptick, improving from $27.17 to $27.18.

Lawrence, like much of the rest of the country, is now experiencing a slowdown in economic growth, leading to a slow-down in hiring and job losses. This slower growth is largely in line with the Federal Reserve’s actions to cool the overheated economy which is causing the steep rise in prices. The severity of the slowdown and the size of job gains/losses will largely depend on whether the Federal Reserve is able to engineer a “soft landing”. In either case, Lawrence is likely to continue to see slow employment growth over the next few months.