Kansas Labor Officials Paint Improving Economy

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas labor economist says the state's outlook continues to improve but that it will take three to five years to determine how much growth can be attributed to recent cuts in the state's income tax rates.

The assessment Wednesday was part of the annual ``State of Labor'' address by Kansas Department of Labor Secretary Lana Gordon.

The speech is scheduled each year to coincide with the Labor Day observance.

In 2012, Kansas cut income tax rates for individual taxpayers while eliminating taxes for certain classes of businesses.

Kansas has seen a slight increase in unemployment recently, with the rate rising to 5.9 percent in July from 5.8 percent in June. Gordon and others have attributed the increase to more people entering the job market and seeking employment.