Unemployment rates fell in 72 Kentucky counties, including Whitley, Laurel and Knox counties, stayed the same in 17 and rose in 31 counties between November 2016 and November 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 5.5 percent in November 2016 to 5.0 percent in November 2017. Whitley County’s November unemployment rate was 0.1 percent lower than October’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.2 percent in November 2016 to 5.0 percent in November 2017. Laurel County’s November unemployment rate was 0.4 percent lower than October’s unemployment rate.
Knox County’s unemployment rate decreased from 6.8 percent in November 2016 to 6.6 percent in November 2017. Knox County’s November unemployment rate was 0.3 percent lower than October’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County had a November 2017 unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, and McCreary County had a November 2017 unemployment rate of 5.6 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.7 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3 percent; Campbell, Fayette and Monroe counties, 3.1 percent each; Jessamine, Scott and Shelby counties, 3.2 percent each; and Anderson, Boone, Kenton, Marion, Spencer and Warren counties, 3.3 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 12.7 percent. It was followed by Elliott County, 8.2 percent; Harlan, Leslie and Lewis counties, 7.7 percent; Carter County, 7.6 percent; Lawrence County, 7.2 percent; Letcher County, 7.1 percent; and Clay, Jackson and Wolfe counties, 6.9 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 4.1 percent for November 2017, and 3.9 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 13,802 people with 13,116 employed and 686 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 2,054,529 people with 1,971,274 employed and 83,255 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.