Unemployment rates fell in 91 Kentucky counties between May 2018 and May 2019 – including Whitley, Knox and Laurel counties – rose in 22 and stayed the same in seven counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Whitley County’s unemployment rate decreased from 4.9 percent in May 2018 to 4.8 percent in May 2019. Whitley County’s May unemployment rate was 0.3 percent higher than April’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate decreased from 4.7 percent in May 2018 to 4.4 percent in May 2019. Laurel County’s May unemployment rate was 0.1 percent higher than April’s unemployment rate.
Knox County’s unemployment rate decreased from 6.1 percent in May 2018 to 5.4 percent in May 2019. Knox County’s May unemployment rate was 0.1 percent lower than April’s unemployment rate.
Bell County’s unemployment rate decreased from 6.3 percent in May 2018 to 5.4 percent in May 2019. Bell County’s May unemployment rate was 0.4 percent higher than April’s unemployment rate.
McCreary County’s unemployment decreased from 5.8 percent in May 2018 to 5.6 percent in May 2019. McCreary County’s May unemployment rate was 0.3 percent higher than April’s rate.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.8 percent. It was followed by Boone, Fayette and Oldham counties, 3.1 percent each; Scott, Shelby and Spencer counties, 3.2 percent each; and Bourbon, Campbell, Henry, Jessamine and Kenton counties, 3.3 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9.9 percent. It was followed by Lewis County, 7.8 percent; Carter County, 7.3 percent; Harlan County, 7 percent; Lawrence County, 6.9 percent; Elliott County, 6.6 percent; Leslie and Martin counties, 6.5 percent; and Breathitt, Clay and Knott counties, 6.4 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 percent for May 2019, and 3.4 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 13,919 people with 13,256 employed and 663 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 2,080,536 people with 1,997,892 employed and 82,644 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at https://kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI.