KEPC NEWS RELEASE: Kansas’ own benchmarks lag the region

Wichita, Kan. – Standards established by the State of Kansas and Governor Sam Brownback three years ago to measure the success of the Administration’s economic policies show the state’s economy trailing the rest of the region.

The Kansas Economic Progress Council (KEPC) obtained a copy of the February 2015 report from the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors which shows Kansas continues to lag in growth behind six states in the region, using the Administration’s own stated benchmarks.

The report is based on standards established by Governor Sam Brownback three years ago to measure the success of the Administration’s economic policies.

The report shows that over the past year Kansas trails the region in the growth of:

  • Population
  • Gross State Product
  • Personal income
  • Building permits (declining while region is growing)
  • Total nonfarm employment (region is growing 2x as fast)
  • Private sector employment
  • Manufacturing employment (declining while region is growing)
  • Service employment
  • Total private establishments

Unemployment and initial claims for unemployment are down, but not as much as the rest of the region, according to the report.Indicators_Feb2015_nonfarm

Kansas growth in per capital personal income is one positive, but some economists have been pointing to government transfer payments (Social Security, student loans, etc) as the reason.

The report, Indicators of the Kansas Economy: A Review of Economic Trends and the Kansas Economy,” is posted on the Kansas Economic Progress Council web site.  Nine previous reports, beginning in February of 2012, were posted on the Kansas Department of Commerce web site.  However, none have been posted since March of 2014.

Governor Brownback said three years ago:

“These economic metrics will allow us to determine the state’s relative economic position as it relates to the six-state region and the nation, and to monitor in a timely manner if our policies and initiatives are having the desired economic effect.”

This report has implications for tax policy as the legislature looks at the state’s current budget dilemma and whether to revisit the 2012 and 2013 income tax cuts.

These are the Governor’s own measures of success and they don’t show significant progress.

The February 2015 report can be accessed here.