The Kansas unemployment rate ticked upward to 3.4 percent in the first month Democrat Laura Kelly held the office of governor, officials said Monday.
The Kansas Department of Labor said the state's labor force expanded by 1,300 in January. The number of unemployed escalated by 930, while the number with a job grew by 390. Private-sector employment climbed 1,100 in the month, but government employment slipped 600.
The agency expects to release the February summary of unemployment March 22.
In December, the Kansas jobless rate stood at 3.3 percent. The figure was 3.5 percent in January 2018.
The five-county Topeka and Wichita areas had an unemployment rate in January of 4.1 percent. In Johnson County and four nearby counties, unemployment was 3.7 percent. The Douglas County and Riley County reports showed unemployment rates of 3.6 percent.
The agency said Kansas had 1.48 million people in the labor force and slightly more than 50,000 unemployed in January.
Tyler Tenbrink, senior economist at the revenue department, said surveys indicated Kansas employers were escalating wages.
"The labor market is historically tight right now and many employers are struggling to fill open positions. This, in turn, has put upward pressure on wages," he said.
In a separate report, the department said the number of Kansans participating in the labor force increased during 2018. The last such annual increase occurred in 2014, officials said.