The Kansas job market may not be very diversified, but it continues to grow and add jobs. In 2003 and 2004, over 30 thousand jobs were created in food processing, manufacturing and retail jobs. Kansas is central to much of the US, making it an attractive location for large shipping warehouses. In 2005, the unemployment rate was 5.1%. It dropped slightly in 2006 and remains at 4.8%. Earnings have risen 1.4% annually since 2003.
Education of students is very important across Kansas. Education remains a priority. There are 1400 schools across the state and $7,768 is spent per pupil per year. The NAEP results for 2003 showed 85% or 4th graders have the basic requirements needed for math and 66% for reading. The 8th grade results showed 76% knew the basic requirements for math and 77% passed the reading requirements. In 1990, the graduation rate was at 82.3%. It has improved every year since and was at 86% for the year 2000.