Kansas Jobless Rate Unchanged At 5.4 Percent

Sharail Page searches a job board at WorkSource Portland Metro North Thursday, May 21, 2009, in Portland, Ore. The number of newly laid-off workers requesting unemployment insurance dropped slightly last week after spiking due to auto layoffs, while continuing jobless claims moved closer to 7 million. Jobs are likely to remain scarce through next year and maybe beyond that even though the overall economy seems to be picking up. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) A new report says the Kansas unemployment rate held steady at 5.4 percent in December while the state recorded modest job growth over the previous year.

The report from the state Labor Department also says last month's jobless figure was down one full point from the 6.4 percent rate of December 2011.

The number of Kansans holding nonfarm jobs in December approached 1.4 million, up 1 percent from a year earlier. Professional and business services showed the biggest gain, with employment in that sector up 6.3 percent from December 2011.

Labor Department senior economist Tyler Tenbrink says Thursday's report showed Kansas ending the year on a strong economic note.