Unemployment rates fell in 117 Kentucky counties, stayed the same in two (Estill and Hickman counties) and rose in one county (Bath County) between December 2016 and December 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 5.7 percent in December 2016 to 4.6 percent in December 2017. Whitley County’s December unemployment rate was 0.4 percent lower than November’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.4 percent in December 2016 to 4.6 percent in December 2017. Laurel County’s December unemployment rate was 0.4 percent lower than November’s unemployment rate.
Knox County’s unemployment rate decreased from 7.0 percent in December 2016 to 6.0 percent in December 2017. Knox County’s December unemployment rate was 0.7 percent lower than November’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County had a December 2017 unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, and McCreary County had a December 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.6 percent. It was followed by Monroe County, 2.7 percent; Campbell, Fayette, Oldham and Scott counties, 2.8 percent each; and Allen, Jessamine, Marion and Shelby counties, 2.9 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 12.4 percent. It was followed by Elliot County, 8.7 percent; Carter County, 8.6 percent; Menifee County, 8 percent; Lewis County, 7.9 percent; Wolfe County, 7.8 percent; Lawrence County, 7.1 percent; Bath County, 6.9 percent; Leslie County, 6.8 percent; and Harlan County, 6.7 percent.
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 3.7 percent for December 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 13,630 people with 13,008 employed and 622 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 2,049,387 people with 1,972,951 employed and 76,436 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.