Unemployment rates fell in 83 Kentucky counties between April 2015 and April 2016, including Knox, Whitley and Laurel counties, rose in 33 counties, and remained the same in four, 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 April 2015 to 6.2 percent in April 2016. This was a 1.5 percent decrease from the March’s rate. Whitley County tied Muhlenberg, Union and Livingston counties with the 34th highest April unemployment rate in Kentucky.
Knox County’s unemployment rate fell from 7.5 percent in April 2015 to 7.2 percent in April 2016. Knox County tied Boyd and Jackson County with the 25th highest April unemployment rate in Kentucky. Knox County’s April unemployment rate was 2 percent lower than March’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.8 percent in April 2015 to 5.6 percent in April 2016. Laurel County tied Montgomery and Rockcastle counties with the 45th highest April unemployment rate in Kentucky. Laurel County’s April unemployment rate was 1.6 percent lower than March’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County tied Menifee County with the 20th highest April unemployment rate with 8.2 percent. McCreary County had the 28th highest April unemployment rate in the state with 7.1 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.9 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.2 percent; Fayette County, 3.3 percent; Shelby and Spencer counties, 3.4 percent each; Boone, Campbell and Scott counties, 3.5 percent each; and Anderson, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Owen and Warren counties, 3.7 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.8 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 11.6 percent; Harlan County, 10.9 percent; Letcher County, 10.7 percent; Floyd County, 10.5 percent; Pike County, 10 percent; Knott County, 9.9 percent; Clay County, 9.7 percent; Owsley County, 9.6 percent; and Perry County, 9.5 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 4.9 percent in April 2015 to 4.6 percent in April 2016, which is 1.3 percent lower than March’s rate.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is 4.7 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 12,884 people with 12,088 employed and 796 unemployed.
Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 1,967,805 people with 1,876,559 employed and 91,246 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.