Jobs nationwide are growing at a nice pace.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the U.S. economy added 321,000 nonfarm jobs in November, by far outpacing the 214,000 produced in October. The results also easily topped the estimated 200,000 a month needed to help lower an unemployment rate that held steady at 5.8 percent.
The positive momentum put 2014 on track to be the healthiest year for job growth since 1999.
But it’s a much different story in Kansas, which has logged scant private-sector job growth — even though we’re well down the road with a radical income tax-cut plan Gov. Sam Brownback claimed would spur job creation needed to offset budget shortfalls driven by the tax cuts.
Kansas wrongly signed on to the flawed “trickle-down” economic theory of making the rich richer as a way to power the economy.
Now we’re seeing firsthand why such a strategy never delivered as promised at the state or federal level. Kansas has nothing to suggest any economic surge powered by jobs Brownback and company claimed would come courtesy of the deep income tax cuts.
So, with nothing significant job-wise, Kansas lawmakers must look elsewhere to plug a budget hole predicted to leave the state a whopping $1 billion short in 2015 and 2016.
Ironically, one job creator will be vulnerable to money grabs.
T-Works, the $8.2 billion comprehensive transportation plan passed by the Legislature in 2010, was expected to create 175,000 jobs during the 10-year program.
Coming about in the wake of the Great Recession, it was a welcome and needed economic stimulus in putting people to work.
Today, while officials claim no T-Works projects for fiscal 2015 and 2016 are in jeopardy, the question is how soon funds will be snatched from the Kansas Department of Transportation, affect key T-Works projects and erase jobs as a result.
It would be still more negative fallout of flawed economic policies from a Brownback administration intent on shrinking state government at the cost of state-funded services.
At least we can celebrate economic news featuring better-than-expected job growth nationwide. In Kansas, however, poorer results are what we expected — unfortunately.