TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) â¿¿ New unemployment figures show the Kansas jobless rate held steady last month at 5.5 percent, the same as in January but lower than in February 2012. The Kansas Department of Labor released the new statistics for February late Thursday. The agency says Kansas added 2,000 private sector jobs in February, continuing a string of four months of growth. Since October the state has added more than 12,000 private sector jobs. Seven of 10 private sector industries showed growth, led by professional and business services. One positive sign noted by the agency was that building permit data was increasing, suggesting that construction activity will pick up as the spring weather conditions improve. The 5.5 percent unemployment rate compares to 5.9 percent a year ago.