Unemployment rates fell in 91 Kentucky counties between May 2015 and May 2016, including Knox, Whitley and Laurel counties, rose in 24 counties, and remained the same in five 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 7.1 percent in May 2015 to 6.5 percent in May 2016. This was a 0.3 percent increase from the April’s rate. Whitley County tied Fulton County with the 38th highest May unemployment rate in Kentucky.
Knox County’s unemployment rate fell from 8.4 percent in May 2015 to 7.6 percent in May 2016. Knox County had the 25th highest May unemployment rate in Kentucky. Knox County’s May unemployment rate was 0.4 percent higher than April’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate fell from 6.4 percent in May 2015 to 5.9 percent in May 2016. Laurel County had the 47th highest May unemployment rate in Kentucky. Laurel County’s May unemployment rate was 0.2 percent higher than April’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County had the 20th highest May unemployment rate with 8.4 percent. McCreary County tied Boyd County with the 26th highest May unemployment rate in the state with 7.5 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.3 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.4 percent; Fayette, Shelby and Spencer counties, 3.6 percent each; Boone County, 3.7 percent; Anderson, Campbell and Scott counties, 3.8 percent each; and Franklin, Jessamine, Owen, Warren and Washington counties, 3.9 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.6 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 11.6 percent; Harlan County, 11.2 percent; Letcher County, 11.1 percent; Elliott County, 10.9 percent; Floyd County, 10.7 percent; Knott and Pike counties, 10.5 percent each; Clay County, 10.1 percent; and Lawrence County, 10 percent.
In contrast to the monthly national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted. The comparable, unadjusted state unemployment rate declined from 5.4 percent in May 2015 to 4.9 percent in May 2016, which is 0.2 percent higher than April’s rate.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is 4.5 percent.
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 13,034 people with 12,189 employed and 845 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 1,982,988 people with 1,884,923 employed and 98,065 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.