County unemployment rate unchanged at 8.5 percent

Unemployment in February in Wyandotte County was 8.5 percent, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

The rate was almost the same as the previous month, and was down from one year ago, when it was 9.2 percent, according to the figures released this week.

The number of unemployed persons in Wyandotte County was counted as 5,827 in February.

Linn County had the state’s highest unemployment rate with 9.5 percent, with Wyandotte County second highest.

Statewide, the unemployment rate in February was 4.9 percent, up slightly from 4.8 percent in January and down from 5.6 percent one year ago.

It was the first time in more than five years that the state unemployment rate has remained under five percent for three straight months, officials said.

During the month in Kansas, government gained 8,800 jobs; other services added 600 jobs; professional and business services were up 500; and education and health services were up 500, according to state statistics.

Reporting job losses statewide over the past month were construction, which dropped 2,500; manufacturing, which lost 800; and trade, transportation and utilities, which decreased 800 jobs.

 

High school students attend KCKCC-TEC Opportunity Fair

Kansas City, Kan., area students attended an Opportunity Fair Tuesday at KCKCC-TEC. The learned about what kinds of job opportunities are available to them this summer. (KCKCC photo)

by Kelly Rogge

Kansas City, Kan., area teenagers had the chance Tuesday to find out what kinds of job opportunities are available to them this summer through a Kansas City Kansas Community College Opportunity Fair.

“We know that some teens will look for employment and this gives them the head start with the employers that attended,” said Marisa Gray, business development liaison for KCKCC’s Workforce Development. “It was reinforcement of our efforts when McDonalds ran out of their 100 applications in the first 30 minutes. Outside of work opportunities, our goal was to let students know that there are also other opportunities like gaining volunteer experience or perhaps attending a summer camp.”

Approximately 225 students from USD 500 and Kauffman Scholars Inc. attended the fair, which was held at KCKCC-TEC. The event was a joint partnership with Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools, Workforce Partnership and KCKCC. Among the vendors:

  • Aerotek
  • City of Kansas City, Mo. –  Aim4Peace Program
  • Coca-Cola
  • Flint Hills Job Corps
  • Habitat for Humanity Kansas City
  • Kansas City, Kan., Fire Recruitment
  • Kansas City, Kan., Police Recruitment
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • The Savage Group, LLC (McDonalds)
  • TJ Maxx
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • UPS

Gray said students who attended were required to bring at least 10 copies of their resume. She said to watch the students move around the room, dressed professionally with resume in hand, was a “proud moment.”

“It validated the reason for teaching workplace skills and expectations into the daily curriculum,” she said. “There were several students that walked away with their first summer job. That was the ultimate measure of success for this event.”

For more information on KCKCC’s Workforce Development, contact Gray at 913-288-7284 or email mcgray@kckcc.edu.

Kansas consumers to receive $1.4 million from e-book settlement

Kansas consumers are expected to receive more than $1.4 million from legal settlements with e-book publishers, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

The settlements reached with five of the six largest e-book publishers in 2012 and 2013 – Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon and Schuster Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, doing business as Macmillan, and Penguin Group (USA) Inc. – resolved price fixing claims brought against the companies by Schmidt and the attorneys general of 32 other states.

“A free market requires that prices be fairly set by competition in the marketplace,” Schmidt said. “When competitors collaborate to set the price of a product above the fair market value, consumers lose. Our office will continue to protect consumers from unlawful, anticompetitive business practices.”

Restitution to consumers is being provided in the form of either credit to their e-book accounts or a refund check.

Consumers who purchased e-books between April 2010 and May 2012 should watch their email accounts for information on how to receive restitution, the attorney general’s office stated.

More information is available on the attorney general’s consumer protection website at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.

A separate case in which Kansas is involved remains pending against Apple Inc., in federal court in New York. In July 2013, a federal judge found that Apple played a central role in the e-book price fixing conspiracy. The next phase of that trial, which will determine the amount of damages, is scheduled to begin later this year.