Unemployment rates fell in 102 Kentucky counties, including Whitley, Laurel and Knox counties, stayed the same in five and rose in 13 counties between September 2016 and September 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 decreased from 6.2 percent in September 2016 to 5.2 percent in September 2017. Whitley County’s September unemployment rate was 1.2 percent lower than August’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.9 percent in September 2016 to 5.3 percent in September 2017. Laurel County’s September unemployment rate was 1.3 percent lower than August’s unemployment rate.
Knox County’s unemployment rate decreased from at 7.7 percent in September 2016 to 7.0 percent in September 2017. Knox County’s September unemployment rate was 1.5 percent lower than August’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County had a September 2017 unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, and McCreary County had a September 2017 unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.
Oldham County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.1 percent. It was followed by Fayette and Shelby counties, 3.2 percent each; Campbell, Jessamine, Scott and Woodford counties, 3.3 percent each; and Boone, Kenton, Monroe and Spencer counties, 3.4 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 12.9 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 10.7 percent; Harlan County, 8.6 percent; Elliott County, 8.3 percent, Letcher County, 8.1 percent; Jackson County, 7.8 percent; Fulton County, 7.7 percent; Carter and Clay counties, 7.6 percent each; and Breathitt and Wolfe counties, 7.5 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 September 2017, and 4.1 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 13,962 people with 13,241 employed and 721 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 2,063,363 people with 1,975,157 employed and 88,206 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.