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One of the positive factors in the expansion of the Kansas economy is the Kansas worker. A highly motivated and well-educated workforce with a strong work ethic is ready to assist your firm. Though much of the state’s population is concentrated in metropolitan areas, firms locating in any region of the state will find a high-quality workforce ready to put its talents to work.


Kansas is a right-to-work state guaranteed by a 1958 constitutional amendment. Of the 24 states that prohibit compulsory union membership, 14 are enacted by state statute rather than as amendments to their state constitutions and are vulnerable to change by state legislatures. Kansas’ right-to-work status can only be changed by a vote of the people.

Union Membership

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Union Affiliation of Employed Wage and Salary Workers by State

Right to Work Map


The state’s education system is a powerful factor contributing to the success of Kansas businesses. Both the public high school graduation rate and the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree are above the national average. The progressive business climate, coupled with a top-notch educational system, has resulted in an adept, well-skilled workforce.  For additional information on the state’s educational institutions, please refer to the Training and Workforce Services section of the website. Kansas high schools graduated over 33,000 students in 2012. The table in this section characterizes these graduates.

Our state ranks 14th overall for business competitiveness based on ten key economic factors, including workforce, education and transportation.In addition, through our workforce development initiative, companies are receiving more value than ever from our workforce training and performance support. Companies new to Kansas, or Kansas businesses needing to expand or restructure, may qualify for assistance under one of our workforce training programs. Our Workforce Services Division is customizing a growing reservoir of business-relevant training expertise within educational institutions tailored to help your company find the skilled labor you need to achieve results. Please see the Training and Workforce Services section for more information on these programs.

Kansas Employment by Sector
(Thousands of Jobs)
2012 2011 2010 Percent of Change
2010 - 2012
Total Nonfarm 1,357.8 1,339.7 1,325.6 2.2%
Mining and Logging 9.9 9.1 8.4 17.9%
Construction 55.1 53.1 54.1 1.8%
Manufacturing 163.1 161.0 160.1 1.9%
    Durable Goods 99.9 98.0 97.4 2.6%
    Non-Durable Goods 63.2 63.0 62.6 1.0%
Wholesale Trade 59.0 58.5 57.9 1.9%
Retail Trade 142.3 141.7 140.8 1.1%
Transportation and Utilities 55.8 54.7 53.4 4.5%
Information 28.3 28.6 30.6 -7.5%
Finance and Insurance 60.8 59.5 57.9 5.0%
Real Estate and Rental Leasing 13.8 13.6 14.0 -1.4%
 Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 62.4 60.2 60.1 3.8%
 Management of Companies and Enterprises 13.6 13.5 13.0 4.6%
 Administrative and Support and Wast Management
and Remediation Services
77.3 74.7 70.8 9.2%
 Educational Services 18.8 18.4 18.2 3.3%
 Health Care and Social Assistance 167.4 166.7 162.1 3.3%
 Arts, Entertainment and Recreation 15.2 13.8 13.2 15.2%
 Accommodation and Food Services 104.5 101.3 100.1 4.4%
 Other Services 51.6 51.6 51.7 -0.2%
 Government 259.0 259.9 262.2 -1.2%
 Federal Government 26.4 27.3 28.2 -6.4%
 State Government     52.1 52.9 53.1 -1.9%
 Local Government 180.5 179.6 180.9 -0.2%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, State and Area Employment, Hours and Earnings


Click here to view the Kansas Department of Labor Wage survey.

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Kansas Department of Commerce, 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66612-1354
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