Unemployment rates rose in 109 Kentucky counties between December 2014 and December 2015, including Whitley, Knox and Laurel counties, but fell in six counties and remained the same in five, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Whitley County’s unemployment rate rose from 6.7 percent in December 2014 to 7.1 percent in December 2015. This was a 0.6 percent increase from the November’s rate. Whitley County tied Cumberland County for the 41st highest December unemployment rate in Kentucky.
Knox County’s unemployment rate rose from 7.8 percent in December 2014 to 8.7 percent in December 2015. Knox County had the 26th highest December unemployment rate in Kentucky. Knox County’s December unemployment rate was 0.9 percent higher than November’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate rose from 6.0 percent in December 2014 to 6.5 percent in December 2015. Laurel County tied Trigg, Bracken, Lyon, and Nicholas counties for the 50th highest December unemployment rate in Kentucky. Laurel County’s December unemployment rate was 0.7 percent higher than November’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County had the 24th highest December unemployment rate with 9.1 percent. McCreary County 27th highest December unemployment rate in the state with 8.6 percent.
Statewide, Kentucky’s unemployment rate rose from 5.1 percent in December 2014 to 5.5 percent in December 2015, which is 0.7 percent higher than November’s rate.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is 4.8 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.8 percent; Fayette and Spencer counties, 3.9 percent each; Shelby County, 4.1 percent; and Boone, Campbell, Jessamine, Madison, Scott and Warren counties, 4.3 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.5 percent. It was followed by Wolfe County, 12.4 percent; Elliott and Letcher counties, 11.8 percent each; Harlan County, 11.6 percent; Leslie County, 11.2 percent; Owsley County, 11 percent; Lawrence County, 10.8 percent; and Knott and Pike counties, 10.6 percent each.
Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The statistics in this story are not seasonally adjusted because of the small sample size for each county.
Whitley County has a civilian labor force of 12,752 people with 11,848 employed and 904 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 1,955,468 people with 1,848,650 employed and 106,818 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.