Workforce Solutions

Employers need a vibrant labor supply. Manhattan has a population of citizens that represent a younger profile with high levels of education and professional skills. Nearly 22,000 students attend Kansas State University. Fort Riley, a primary and substantial U.S. Army installation, is home to 15,000 troops and 5,800 civilian workers (including contractors).

Transitioning workforce


Each year 4,000 K-State grads, nearly 3,000 transitioning Fort Riley military personnel, and hundreds of local technical and community college grads give our employers an enormous amount of attractive workforce options. A recent study showed that 64 percent of K-State grads would stay in the area if they could find a job in their field with competitive pay. Manhattan is also part of the 90-mile Kansas Research Nexus corridor, which includes Topeka and Lawrence, an area which produces 10,000 college graduates annually and creates strong regional talent pool from which your business can draw.

Riley County Workforce Characteristics
Civilian Labor Force 35,950
Total Employed  34,793 
Available Labor Pool (*Manhattan MSA) 59,878
Total Unemployed  1,157
Unemployment Rate 2.7%
Office/Administrative 5,030
Food/Hospitality 4,540
Education/Training/Library 4,070
Sales/Service Related 3,640
Transportation/Material Moving
1,850
Management 1,850
Business/Finance Operations 1,840
Healthcare/Technical 1,840
  Healthcare Support 1,160
Production 1,810
Construction trades 1,790
Personal Care/Service 1,790
Installation/Maintenance/Repair 1,540
Building/Grounds Cleaning/Maintenance  1,520

Kansas Labor Market Information, February 2019. Employment Categories: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 data

* Manhattan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Riley and Pottawatomie counties