Unemployment rates fell in 32 Kentucky counties, stayed the same in three, including Whitley County, and rose in 85 counties, including Laurel and Knox counties, between August 2016 and August 2017, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Whitley County’s unemployment rate increased stayed at 6.4 percent between August 2016 and August 2017. Whitley County’s August unemployment rate was 0.8 percent lower than July’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate increased from 5.9 percent in August 2016 to 6.5 percent in August 2017. Laurel County’s August unemployment rate was 0.5 percent lower than July’s unemployment rate.
Knox County’s unemployment rate increased from at 7.6 percent in August 2016 to 8.5 percent in August 2017. Knox County’s August unemployment rate was 0.6 percent lower than July’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County had an August 2017 unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, and McCreary County had a August 2017 unemployment rate of 7.1 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Shelby County, 3.8 percent; Campbell, Fayette, Monroe, Oldham and Scott counties, 3.9 percent each; Jessamine County, 4 percent; and Boone, Kenton and Spencer counties, 4.1 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.4 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 12.7 percent; Elliott County, 10.7 percent, Carter and Harlan counties, 10.5 percent each; Letcher County, 9.7 percent; Breathitt County, 9.3 percent; Lewis County, 9.2 percent; Owsley County, 9.1 percent; and Jackson County 9 percent.
Kentucky’s county unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends.
The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 5.2 percent for August 2017, and 4.5 percent for the nation.
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.
Whitley County has a civilian labor force of 13,774 people with 12,891 employed and 883 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 2,054,263 people with 1,948,039 employed and 106,224 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.