Archive for Thursday, July 2, 2009

State sees positive changes despite broken economy

July 2, 2009

The Kansas economy is struggling, as is the rest of the nation, but there are some positive signs on the horizon, state economic development officials on Monday said.

Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary Dave Kerr said the state unemployment rate of 6.9 percent, while the highest in more than a generation, still lags behind the national rate of 9.4 percent.

Even with the downturn, Kerr said recruitment of businesses to Kansas for the past four years has been at the state’s highest level.

On the negative side, businesses already in Kansas have seen a downturn, he said.

“We have our challenges, but there are good things happening out there,” Kerr said.

Stan Ahlerich, president of Kansas Inc., said the recent increase in people saving instead of increasing debt is a good sign.

“We’re slow getting into recessions, we’re slow to come out, but we usually don’t go as deep,” Ahlerich said.

Their comments came during a meeting of the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp.

Meanwhile, state officials continue waiting to see how tax collections shape up this week, which includes both the end of the month of June and the fiscal year.

A deep drop-off, as occurred in May, could result in more budget cuts.

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