Unemployment rates fell in 82 Kentucky counties between August 2015 and August 2016, including Whitley, Knox and Laurel counties, rose in 36 and stayed the same in Montgomery and Wayne counties, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Whitley County’s unemployment rate fell from 6.5 percent in August 2015 to 6.4 percent in August 2016. This was a 0.5 percent decrease from the July’s rate. Whitley County tied Clinton and Union counties with the 37th highest August unemployment rate in Kentucky.
Knox County’s unemployment rate fell from 7.7 percent in August 2015 to 7.5 percent in August 2016. Knox County had 25th highest August unemployment rate in Kentucky. Knox County’s August unemployment rate was 0.5 percent lower than July’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.9 percent in August 2015 to 5.8 percent in August 2016. Laurel County had the 48th highest August unemployment rate in Kentucky. Laurel County’s August unemployment rate was 0.4 percent lower than July’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County tied Boyd and Breathitt counties for the 21st highest August unemployment rate with 8.3 percent. McCreary County had the 26th highest August unemployment rate in the state with 7.3 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.1 percent; Fayette and Shelby counties, 3.3 percent each; Boone, Campbell, Monroe, Spencer and Warren counties, 3.5 percent each; and Anderson, Franklin, Jessamine and Scott counties, 3.6 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 16.2 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 13.2 percent; Letcher County, 11.8 percent; Elliott County, 11.7 percent; Harlan County, 11.6 percent; Carter and Lawrence counties, 10.6 percent each; Knott County, 10.5 percent; Floyd and Perry counties, 10.4 percent each.
In contrast to the monthly national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 4.8 percent for August 2016, and 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. 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 13,053 people with 12,215 employed and 838 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 1,978,305 people with 1,883,870 employed and 94,435 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.