Unemployment rates rose in 83 Kentucky counties between April 2016 and April 2017, including Knox and Laurel counties, but fell in 28 counties, including Whitley County, and stayed the same in nine 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 6.1 percent in April 2016 to 5.9 percent in April 2017. This was a 0.5 percent decrease from March’s rate. Whitley County tied Fleming and Graves counties with the 47th highest April unemployment rate in Kentucky.
Knox County’s unemployment rate rose from 7.2 percent in April 2016 to 7.4 percent in April 2017. Knox County tied Boyd and Russell counties with the 27th highest April unemployment rate in Kentucky. Knox County’s April unemployment rate was 0.9 percent lower than March’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate rose from 5.7 percent in April 2016 to 5.8 percent in April 2017. Laurel County tied Carlisle County with the 50th highest April unemployment rate. Laurel County’s April unemployment rate was 0.7 percent lower than March’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County tied Clay County with the 19th highest April unemployment rate with 8.2 percent. McCreary County had the 34th highest April unemployment rate in the state with 6.7 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.1 percent. It was followed by Shelby County, 3.4 percent; Oldham County, 3.5 percent; Fayette and Spencer counties, 3.6 percent each; Scott County, 3.7 percent; Jessamine and Warren counties, 3.8 percent each; and Allen, Boone, Campbell, Henry, Monroe and Washington counties, 3.9 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 17.3 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 10.3 percent; Elliott and Letcher counties, 10.1 percent each; Harlan County, 9.8 percent; Carter County, 9.5 percent; Lawrence County, 9.3 percent; Knott County, 9.2 percent; Perry County, 9.1 percent; Breathitt County, 9 percent; and Floyd County, 8.9 percent.
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 April 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 13,598 people with 12,802 employed and 796 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 2,081,294 people with 1,980,720 employed and 100,574 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.