Unemployment rates fell in 74 Kentucky counties between September 2015 and September 2016, including Whitley and Knox counties, but rose in 41 counties, including Laurel County, and stayed the same in five counties (Grayson, Henderson, Livingston, Logan and Simpson), 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 6.3 percent in September 2015 to 6.2 percent in September 2016. This was a 0.2 percent decrease from the August’s rate. Whitley County tied Ohio County with the 39th highest September unemployment rate in Kentucky.
Knox County’s unemployment rate fell from 7.6 percent in September 2015 to 7.5 percent in September 2016. Knox County had 25th highest September unemployment rate in Kentucky. Knox County’s September unemployment rate was the same as August’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate rose from 5.8 percent in September 2015 to 5.9 percent in September 2016. Laurel County tied Adair and Christian counties with the 43rd highest September unemployment rate in Kentucky. Laurel County’s September unemployment rate was 0.1 percent higher than August’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County had the 21st highest September unemployment rate with 8.2 percent.
McCreary County tied Carlisle County with the 30th highest September unemployment rate in the state with 6.8 percent.
Oldham and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the Commonwealth at 3.1 percent each. They were followed by Shelby County, 3.3 percent; Fayette County, 3.4 percent; Boone, Spencer and Warren counties, 3.5 percent each; Campbell and Scott counties, 3.6 percent each; and Anderson, Franklin, Jessamine and Madison counties, 3.7 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.5 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 12.5 percent; Letcher County, 11.3 percent; Harlan County, 11.2 percent; Elliott County, 11.1 percent; Floyd County, 10.5 percent; Knott County, 10.2 percent; Lawrence and Pike counties, 10.1 percent each; and Carter and Perry counties, 10 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 September 2016, and 4.8 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 13,197 people with 12,374 employed and 823 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 1,997,896 people with 1,902,471 employed and 95,425 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.