Unemployment rates rose in 75 Kentucky counties between August 2018 and August 2019, including Whitley and Knox counties, fell in 36, including Laurel County, and stayed the same in nine counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Whitley County’s unemployment rate increased from 4.9 percent in August 2018 to 5.1 percent in August 2019. Whitley County’s August unemployment rate was 1.0 percent lower than July’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.1 percent in August 2018 to 5.0 percent in August 2019. Laurel County’s August unemployment rate was 0.9 percent lower than July’s unemployment rate.
Knox County’s unemployment rate increased from 6.0 percent in August 2018 to 6.1 percent in August 2019. Knox County’s August unemployment rate was 1.1 percent lower than July’s unemployment rate.
Bell County’s unemployment rate increased from 6.3 percent in August 2018 to 7.4 percent in August 2019. Bell County’s August unemployment rate was 0.6 percent lower than July’s unemployment rate.
McCreary County’s unemployment increased from 6.1 percent in August 2018 to 6.2 percent in August 2019. McCreary County’s August unemployment rate was 1.0 percent lower than July’s rate.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3 percent. It was followed by Boone and Oldham counties, 3.3 percent each; Fayette County, 3.4 percent; Campbell, Kenton, Pendleton and Scott counties, 3.5 percent each; and Bourbon and Cumberland counties, 3.6 percent each.
Harlan County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 13 percent. It was followed by Magoffin County, 12.9 percent; Leslie County, 10.5 percent; Carter County, 9.1 percent; Elliott County, 8.8 percent; Letcher County, 8.5 percent; Lewis County, 8.4 percent; Bell, Knott and Martin counties, 7.4 percent each.
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 4.3 percent for August 2019, and 3.8 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 13,908 people with 13,192 employed and 716 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 2,068,829 people with 1,979,258 employed and 89,571 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at https://kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI.