Located in south central Kansas along the Arkansas River, Wichita is the largest city in the state. A trading post on the Chisholm Trail in 1860, Wichita was established ten years later. By the 1930s, Wichita earned recognition as an aircraft manufacturing destination. Pioneers Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech, and Bill Lear managed projects in Wichita, marking Wichita as the "Air Capital of the World." Today, many of the aircraft corporations and aviation manufacturing companies of the early 20th century still maintain a large presence in Wichita's workforce. Wichita also supports a strong cultural atmosphere between Wichita State University, Intrust Bank Arena, the Century II Performing Arts Center & Convention Center, and numerous art galleries, museums, and parks.
Forbes reports that the cost of living for Wichita's 386,552 homeowners is 8.8 percent lower than the national average. The median household income was $48,945 and per capita income was $24,517 in 2013; the average household income dropped 0.3 percent last year. Housing, in particular, sits well below the national average, with a cost of living figure of 70 compared to the national average of 100. The median home price for 2013 was $120,100, which shows a 4.6 percent rise in home value.
Wichita Job Opportunities
Wichita jobs create a robust economy with a wide range of manufacturing jobs, private and public corporate positions, healthcare facilities, and educational facilities. True to tradition, the top employers of jobs in Wichita, KS still pull from the aviation manufacturing industry, with Cessna Aircraft Co. employing around 11,300, Spirit Aerosystems employing around 10, 900, and Hawker Beechcraft employing over 6,700. The second largest industry is healthcare, and Via Christi Healthcare alone staffs about 6,393. Third, the Unified School District (USD) of Wichita has about 5,482 employees.
Another large employer, Koch Industries, headquartered in Wichita and a global natural-resource corporation, benefited from the nearby Butler County's oil boom to put Wichita on the energy map. As such, consider El Dorado jobs or positions in other adjoining areas for further opportunities.
Wichita Employment Trends
According to the August 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wichita's 5.7 percent unemployment rate makes it below the national average of 6.1 percent, but slightly higher than Kansas' rate of 4.9 percent. In 2013, Wichita jobs reportedly grew at 1.2 percent, and 1.6 percent is the expected growth rate for next year.
Wichita, KS jobs reveal a long entrepreneurial history with businesses like Coleman, Koch Industries, Pizza Hut, and White Castle having debuted there, and the downtown area has seen major development initiatives. On Forbes List of best small cities for business and careers, Wichita ranks 137th in the nation, 57th for cost of business, and 190th for job growth. Though the manufacturing industry remains dominant, education, government positions, and healthcare jobs in Wichita also offer consistent employment.