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The Kansas economy has expanded from its original base in agribusiness into an economy with a diverse mix of  growing industries. Wichita remains one of the great aviation hubs on the planet, earning the city the title of “Air Capital of the World.” The state is one of the nation’s fastest-growing bioscience hubs thanks to the under-construction National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, a region that houses the world’s largest concentration of animal health interests. Kansas has also emerged as a leader in wind energy  and other forms of renewable energy, food processing and distribution.

 Recent site location announcements:
Grantham University                                 
University and administrative headquarters
E.C. Manufacturing, LLC
Contract manufacturing and assembly of electronic components
KMT Waterjet Systems, Inc.
Manufacturer of deicing and catering trucks for airlines
Intouch Solutions
Marketing consulting
CTP Transportation Products, LLC
Manufacturer of industrial belts for equipment
Alliance Data Services
Retail credit card servicing
BHA Altair, LLC
Headquarters for division of GE
AIG PC Global Services, inc.
Property, casualty and general insurance
Creekstone Farms Premium Beef
Meat processing
Mortgage Lenders of America
Headquarters for national internet-based mortgage lender
Black & Veatch
Engineering services
BATS Global Markets Holdings, Inc.
Global headquarters
Netchemia Cloud-based talent management software development
Unilever Manufacturing Inc.
Manufacturer of margarines and spreads
Netsmart Technologies
Developer of medical software
Quest Diagnostics
Customer service center and shared services support
Advanced Call Center
Customer service center and shared services support
Westerman, Inc. (Palmer Manufacturing)
Manufacturer of heavy steel tanks and fiberglass tanks
Hospira Pharmaceutical manufacturer


Advanced manufacturing: Advanced manufacturing--especially aviation and aerospace manufacturing -- is an important driver in the Kansas economy. The city of Wichita, Kan., produces more than 30 percent of the world’s general aviation aircraft, earning the city the title of “Aviation Capital of the World.” Approximately 53 percent of Wichita’s manufacturing employment is related to the aviation/aerospace industry. Kansas is home to many key aviation companies, including Cessna, Beechcraft, Bombardier Learjet and Spirit AeroSystems.

In addition, General Motors and its suppliers have a significant automotive presence in Kansas City, Kan., where GM manufactures Chevrolet and Buick products. Kansas is also a leader in the fast-growing area of composites and advanced materials, a sector in which we are already seeing cluster development in the Wichita and Kansas City areas.

Bioscience: Kansas has made bioscience one of its top target industries. The state currently has more than 16,000 people employed in the biosciences and has initiated a comprehensive strategy to build on our established and emerging strengths. Animal health is one of our leading bioscience sectors, with the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor running through the heart of Kansas. This corridor has the world’s largest concentration of animal health interests and accounts for nearly one-third of total sales in the global animal health market.

To support our bioscience efforts, Kansas is investing significant resources to make Kansas a national leader in the biosciences by funding research, development and commercialization. Kansas is investing in our future to help build a dynamic bioscience industry to stimulate job growth, attract private venture capital and increase research and business investment.

Professional services:
Kansas has emerged as a leader for professional service companies, including those involved in finance, accounting, information technology and architectural design. In fact, in recent years, we have seen unprecedented success for Kansas in terms of recruiting new service-related companies, with corporate leaders such as J.P. Morgan, U.S. Bank, Cerner Healthcare, Fishnet Security and Netsmart Technologies all establishing new facilities here.

Renewable fuels and bioenergy: As a traditional agricultural leader and a state blessed with tremendous natural resources, Kansas is positioned to be a forerunner in renewable energy production. Kansas ranks very high in total biomass production, with companies benefiting from economical access to feedstock for bio-based fuels, as well as proximity to feedlots that serve as a market for the animal feed resulting from biofuel byproducts. With three million head of cattle on feed in southwest Kansas, biofuel plants can enjoy the cost savings of sending wet grains to nearby feedlots.

Wind energy: Kansas is ranked No. 2 in wind potential and is among the top ten states for operating wind farms. There are also thousands of megawatts of additional wind energy under development across the state and over 700 megawatts currently under construction. Kansas wind is very cost effective due to high productivity factors, and has therefore been attractive to out-of-state utilities, which are purchasing over 40% of the wind energy produced in Kansas. According to data in the 2013 Annual Wind Market Report, Kansas ranks in the Top 10 in a number of categories: 8th in wind power capacity installations (2967 MW), 2nd in wind power capacity additions during 2013 (254 MW), 3rd in wind energy as percent of total state generation (19.4%), 7th in fastest growing states for wind generation (82% annual growth) and 6th in total generation from wind power (9.43 million Mwh). Located in the heart of the nation’s Wind Corridor, Kansas offers an ideal location for wind turbine manufacturing. Our central location and outstanding transportation infrastructure provide convenient and economical access to the regions with the greatest wind energy activity.
(Wind Resource Map)

Kansas Labor Summary  2014 Actual  2013 Actual 
2012 Actual  2011 Actual      2010 Actual  Percent Change    
 Population (in thousands)  2,904.0 2,895.8 2,886.0 2,870.0 2,858.9 1.6%
 Labor Force (in thousands) 1,500.4  1,486.8 1,484.0 1,491.3 1,500.8 0.0%
 Employment (in thousands)  1,432.4 1,407.6 1,398.7 1,394.2 1,395.0 2.7%
 Unemployment (%)  4.5 5.3 5.8 6.5 7.1 -36.6%
 Non-Farm Wage & Salary Employment (in thousands) 1.392.6   1,372.2 1,356.4 1,338.3 1,328.4 4.8%
 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Economic Indicators  KS  CA  OK  IL  MO  NY  U.S.
 Employment to Population Ratio 65.2 57.7 57.8 60.3
60.8 56.9 59.0
 Unemployment Rate 4.5 7.5 4.5 7.1 6.1 6.3 6.2
 Cost of Living Index 93.2 127.7 90.8 96.0 93.3 133.3 100.0
 Per Capita Personal Income 45,546 50,109 43,138 48,120 41,120 56,231 46,129
 State and Local Tax as a 
 Percentage of Personal Income, 2008
9.99 10.17 8.41 11.23 8.48 14.33 10.01
 Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Council for Community and Economic Research, U.S. Department of Commerce,
Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tax Policy Center.

 Kansas Employment by Sector
(Thousands of Jobs)
 2014  2013 2012 Percent of Change
2012 - 2014
  Total                            1,392.6 1,372.2 1,356.4 2.7%
 Mining and Logging 10.5 10.5 10.0 5.0%
 Construction 59.9 56.8 55.0 8.9%
 Manufacturing 162.2 160.7 160.5 1.1%
     Durable Goods 97.6 98.1 98.5 0.9%
     Non-Durable Goods 63.8 62.6 63.0 1.3%
 Wholesale Trade 61.5 59.9 58.8 4.6%
 Retail Trade    145.8 144.1 142.8 2.1%
 Transportation and Utilities 56.4 55.8 55.7 1.3%
 Information 27.9 27.6 27.7 0.7%
 Finance and Insurance 65.3 64.2 61.9 5.5%
 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing            14.5 19.9 13.8 5.1%
 Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 67.4 65.9 62.5 7.8%
 Management of Companies and Enterprises 18.5 17.7
16.2 14.2%
 Administrative and Support and Waste Management
and Remediation Services
83.8 80.2 77.4 8.3%
 Educational Services        19.9 19.1 18.9 5.3%
 Health Care and Social Assistance 170.0 168.7 167.6 1.4%
 Arts, Entertainment and Recreation         16.0 15.9 15.4 3.9%
 Accommodation and Food Services 107.1 105.4 104.2 2.8%
 Other Services 49.2 48.7 49.7 -1.0%
 Government 256.8 257.2 258.5 -0.7%
    Federal Government 24.9 25.4 26.4 -5.7%
    State Government  51.3 51.5 52.1 -1.5%
    Local Government 180.6 180.3 180.1 0.3%
 Source: Kansas Department of Labor; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State and Area Employment, Hours and Earnings (July 2015)

Economic Diversification of Economy 
       United States 2014 GDP           Kansas 2014 GDP 
 Category    Amount $ Billions    % of GDP     Amount $ Millions     % of GDP 
Total          17,316,314  100.0% 147,075
Private Industries 15,175,312 87.64% 127,190 86.48%
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing     210,227 1.21% 8,136 5.53%
Mining     461,339 2.66% 2,366 1.61%
Utilities     391,347 1.68% 3,007 2.04%
Construction 652,723 3.77% 5,367 3.65%
Manufacturing     2,090,709 12.07% 19,320 13.14%
           Durable Goods      1,135,885 6.56% 9,458 6.43%
           Nondurable Goods 954,824 5.51% 9,862 6.71%
Wholesale Trade     1,037,693 5.99% 10,025 6.82%
Retail Trade     1,014,009 5.86% 9,373 6.37%
Transportation & Warehousing     506,202 2.92% 5,622 3.82%
Information 807,988 4.67% 6,096 4.14%
Finance & Insurance 1,261,274 7.28% 8,321 5.66%
Real Estate, Rental & Leasing     2,265,773 13.08% 15,222 10.35%
Professional & Technical Services 1,220,849 7.05% 7,306 4.97%
Management of Companies & Enterprises
1.99% 2,472 1.68%
Administrative & Waste Services
532,481 3.08% 4,995 3.40%
Educational Services
191,080 1.10% 910 0.62%
Health Care & Social Assistance
1,244,253 7.19% 10,970 7.46%
Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation
174,565 1.01% 775 .53%
Accommodation & Food Services
482,522 2.79% 3,517 2.39%
Other Services (except Government)
385,287 2.22% 2,288 2.30%
Government 2,141,002 12.36% 19,885 13.52%
 Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2015


For a full list of our press releases, rankings and news on Kansas Business Recruitment, please click here.

Some of our more featured rankings and accolades are listed below:

The American Economic Development Institute (AEDI) and Pollina Corporate Real Estate Inc. have ranked the Kansas Department of Commerce as the fifth best state economic development organization in the country. The rankings examined more than 30 factors, including how effective an organization is in creating a pro-business environment, its reliability of funding, size of the organization relative to its impact, retention programs and leadership. (Full Article)

Kansas ranked 5th in the country in Pollina Corporate’s 2015 and 2014 “Top 10 Pro-Business States” rankings, and annual study that examines 32 factors controlled by state governments to identify the states most effective at creating strong business environments. Pollina ranked Kansas in the top 10 for seven consecutive years. The 2014 fifth place is an improvement from the 2013 sixth place ranking and is the state’s highest finish ever in the Pollina’s rankings. States that score well in these categories typically are successful in attracting and retaining businesses. (Full Article)

Area Development, a leading publication covering site selection and facility planning, awarded Kansas with a Silver Shovel in its 2015 Gold and Silver shovel Awards. Kansas has won this award eight times in the last nine years, plus in 2013 Kansas was a named a Gold Shovel recipient for the first time. The award recognizes states that have significant number of high-value-added new jobs and investment for the year. (Full Article)

Kansas ranked 4th in the country for economic development projects per capita in Site Selection magazine’s 2014 rankings. Site Selection, which has compiled annual economic development rankings since 1978, added a new Governor’s Cup Award for 2013, recognizing the states with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita. Site Selection ranked Kansas first in per capita projects in the seven state West North Central region that also included Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. (Full Article)

Kansas ranked 9th overall as a 2013 Best State to Make a Living list according to (Full Article)

Kansas received high marks in’s 2015 Small Business Survey indicating the state is one of the friendliest states for small business. (Full Article)

Wichita ranks as No. 3 among the nation’s engineering capitals by Forbes. (Full Article)

According to the Business Facilities rankings for 2014, Kansas is ranked:

  • 7th as an Aerospace/Defense Industry Leader
  • 9th as a Renewable Energy Leader in Power Generation
  • 6th as an Installed Wind Capacity Leader
  • 3rd for Wind Power as a Percentage of Overall Energy

In 2012, Wichita ranked No. 1 for concentration of manufacturing jobs and No. 3 for high-tech manufacturing. (Full Article)

In 2012, Overland Park was selected as one of the 10 Best Cities for Jobs in Financial Services by AdvisorsOne. 

Kansas City, Kan. was selected as the first Google Fiber Community.  Google launched an initiative called Google Fiber, which will provide communities with Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today. Nearly 1,100 communities submitted applications for Google Fiber. Kansas City was selected and was the first community where Google installed its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service.  Since that time, they have installed this fiber in several cities in the Kansas City metropolitan area with plans to continue installations in the state.

Cost of Doing Business 2015
State Overall Competitiveness Rank
(1=lowest; 50=highest)




27 49


19 29


26 11


31 9

New York

35 44
Source: CNBC, Cost of Doing Business 2015

Top Employers
Employer Number of Employees Type of Business
Spirit AeroSystems 10,900 Aviation Manufacturer
Sprint 7,500 Telecommunications
Cessna Aircraft 6,200 Aviation Manufacturing
General Motors - Fairfax Plant
4,000 Auto Manufacturing
Garmin International
3,417 GPS Device Design & Manufacturing
Black & Veatch
Engineering Consulting
Koch Industries
3,300 Chemical Technologies
Tyson Fresh Meats 3,200 Meat Product Manufacturing
Performance Contracting
2,900 Roofing, Siding, & Insulation Material Merchant Wholesalers
United Parcel Service
2,871 Package Delivery and Logistics
Bombardier Aerospace
2,855 Aerospace Manufacturing
Farmers Insurance
2,507 Insurance Customer Support
BNSF Railway
2,500 Freight Railroad
Honeywell Aerospace
2,500 Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
National Beef Packing (Dodge City)
2,500 Meat Packers Manufacturing
National Beef Packing (Liberal) 2,500 Meat Packers Manufacturing
UnitedHealth Group
2,100 Direct Insurance Carriers
Quest Diagnostics
2,014 Testing Laboratories 
Hawker Beechcraft
2,000 Aircraft Manufacturing
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
1,700 Rubber Product Manufacturing
AGCO Corp. 1,590 Farm Machinery Manufacturing
General Dynamics Information Technology 1,500 Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
CenturyLink 1,400 Telecommunications
Waddell & Reed 1,192 Securities Brokerage
Coleman Company
1,100 Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturing
Source: Dun & Bradstreet/Hoover’s (2014) along with Kansas City and Wichita Book of Lists, and Community websites

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Kansas Department of Commerce, 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66612-1354
(785) 296-3481      TTY - 711      Fax (785) 296-5055