​Work Area Profile

The Greater Manhattan Area has a strong diversity of employment opportunities, but has strong roots in manufacturing, industry, agriculture, and research. Historically, the area has been agriculture-focused due to its fertile soils and good grazing land. However, Kansas State University has been pioneering increased research and development - primarily agricultural research. Also, as the future home of the National Biological and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF), Manhattan will continue to grow as a hotbed of research and development. 

The Manhattan Area also has strong ties to manufacturing and industry. Several manufacturing and industrial entities, such as GTM Sportswear, the American Institute of Baking, the Kansas Farm Bureau, and Caterpillar Work Tools, have headquarters and warehouses within the area. Pottawatomie County in particular boasts a high quantity of manufacturing jobs, with roughly 20% of the workforce employed in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing and Technical Skills are taught at the Manhattan Area Technical College, and often graduates of this school are employed directly into the Manhattan Area. This college, along with Kansas State University's technical schools, has increased the number and quality of professionally-trained employees for the trade industries in and around the Manhattan Area.

The Greater Manhattan Area is also home to a large Health Care and Social Assistance workforce, with 11.3% of the population employed in this sector. Manhattan is famous for its Senior Living, boasting a number of high quality assisted living developments. Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community, for example, is now a famous nation-wide precedent for senior home design.

Jobs by Industry Sector

Source: OnTheMap (2018) using Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 data.
Industry Sector Count Percentage of Total Jobs
Total Jobs 36,894 100.0%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting 393 1.1%
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 137 0.4%
Utilities 372 1.0%
Construction 2,242 6.1%
Manufacturing 3,326 9.0%
Wholesale Trade 1,279 3.5%
Retail Trade 3,870 10.5%
Transportation and Warehousing 232 0.6%
Information 677 1.8%
Finance and Insurance 1,319 3.6%
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 528 1.4%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 1,499 4.1%
Management of Companies and Enterprises 91 0.2%
Administration and Support, Waste Management and Remediation 859 2.3%
Educational Services 8.480 23.0%
Health Care and Social Assistance 4,164 11.3%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 247 0.7%
Accommodation and Food Services 3,802 10.3%
Other Services (Excluding Public Administration 1,401 3.8%
Public Administration 1,976 5.4%

​Regional Labor Shed

The Greater Manhattan Area boasts strong connections between the different municipalities within its area. Manhattan and Wamego serve as workforce hubs - sending and receiving employees between each other and the surrounding, smaller townships. The Manhattan Area also maintains strong connections with other municipalities in Kansas as well as other states. Kansas City, Wichita, Lawrence, and Topeka are all within the Manhattan Area labor shed.
The below images are generated by OnTheMap, a United States Census created software which visually displays Bureau of Labor Statistics data. They show the flow of jobs to and from the different study areas. OnTheMap results were created for Manhattan, Wamego, and the entirety of the Greater Manhattan Area (including both Riley and Pottawatomie Counties). According to these maps, Manhattan displays linkages within its labor shed region with strong movement of jobs in and out of the Greater Manhattan Area (36.1% of employees coming in to work, and 29.9% leaving to work), as well as a strong level of local employment (63.9%). 

The bottom map displays the density of jobs in the Greater Manhattan Area. It is indicative of the clustering of jobs around Manhattan and Wamego, as well as the K-18 and Highway 24 corridors.

Inflow/ Outflow Job Counts 2015 (Riley and Pottawatomie Counties Combined)

Inflow-Outflow Job Counts 2015 (Riley and Pottawatomie Counties Combined)
Counts and Censity of all Jobs in Work Selection Area 2015 Map

Unemployment Rates by County