Unemployment rates fell in 88 Kentucky counties, including Whitley, Laurel and Knox, remained the same in ten and rose in 22 counties between October 2016 and October 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 5.8 percent in October 2016 to 5.1 percent in October 2017. Whitley County’s October unemployment rate was 0.1 percent lower than September’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.7 percent in October 2016 to 5.3 percent in October 2017. Laurel County’s October unemployment rate was the same as September’s unemployment rate.
Knox County’s unemployment rate decreased from at 7.3 percent in October 2016 to 6.9 percent in October 2017. Knox County’s October unemployment rate was 0.2 percent lower than September’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County had an October 2017 unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, and McCreary County had an October 2017 unemployment rate of 5.9 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.9 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.1 percent; Fayette County, 3.2 percent; Jessamine and Scott counties, 3.3 percent each; Campbell, Monroe and Shelby counties, 3.4 percent each; and Boone, Kenton, Marion, Spencer, Todd and Washington counties, 3.5 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 12.7 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 8.7 percent; Harlan County, 8.5 percent; Jackson County, 7.9 percent; Letcher County, 7.7 percent; Elliott County, 7.6 percent; Lawrence County, 7.5 percent; Wolfe County, 7.4 percent; and Clay and Lee counties, 7.3 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 4.3 percent for October 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 13,783 people with 13,079 employed and 704 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 2,050,783 people with 1,963,511 employed and 87,272 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.