A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky’s adjusted unemployment rate was down to 4.7 percent in November from 5.0 percent in October

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Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary November unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for November 2017 was down from the revised 5.0 percent reported for October 2017.
 
The preliminary November 2017 jobless rate was down 0.2 percentage points from the 4.9 percent recorded for the state in November 2016.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for November 2017 was unchanged from the 4.1 percent reported for October 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends in the number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

In November 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,061,760, a decrease of 273 individuals compared to the previous month. The number of people employed was up by 5,447, while the number unemployed decreased by 5,720.

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 4,200 jobs in November 2017 compared to October 2017. Kentucky added 25,600 jobs since November 2016, a 1.3 percent employment growth.

“November’s unemployment rate is the lowest recorded since March 2001,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Chris Bollinger, Ph.D. “The decrease in the unemployment rate results partially from more individuals being employed this month and reflects the improvements in Kentucky’s job market. However, the estimates also suggest there were fewer individuals in the labor force in November.” 

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, five of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors experienced employment growth from the previous month. Six sectors declined from the previous month.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector showed the largest gain with 3,300 more jobs from October 2017 to November 2017. This represents an increase of 1.3 percent. Most of the increase occurred in durable goods manufacturing, which added 2,800 jobs in November 2017. Non-durable goods manufacturing added 500 jobs in November. Since November 2016, the manufacturing sector has added 2,300 jobs or just under 1 percent.

“The manufacturing gains in November helps offset decreases that occurred in the sector earlier in the year,” said Bollinger.

Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector increased by 2,100 jobs in November 2017, a 1.1 percent growth rate. Within this sector, accommodation and food services gained 1,300 jobs while arts, entertainment and recreation added 800 jobs. Since November 2016, the sector has added 3,200 positions.

The financial activities sector rose by 600 jobs in November 2017. Within this sector, the finance and insurance subsector increased by 400 jobs, and real estate, rental and leasing subsector increased by 200 jobs. Overall, the financial activities sector is up 200 jobs or 0.2 percent from last year.

Construction employment increased by 100 jobs from October 2017 to November 2017, a gain of 0.1 percent. From November 2016 to November 2017, construction employment was up by 4,000 jobs, or 5.2 percent.

Employment in the other services sector rose by 1,100 jobs in November 2017, up 3,600 from a year ago. This represents a growth rate of 1.6 percent from October 2017 to November 2017, and 5.5 percent from November 2016 to November 2017. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

Trade, transportation and utilities employment decreased by 1,400 jobs since October 2017. While employment in this sector decreased in November 2017, it is still up by 5,400 jobs since November 2016. This represents a growth rate of 1.4 percent. From October 2017 to November 2017, wholesale trade decreased by 400 jobs; retail trade fell by 200 jobs; and transportation, warehousing and utilities dropped by 800 jobs.

“Wholesale employment increased during the first four months of the year,” said Bollinger. “Since April wholesale employment has generally decreased.”
The professional and business sector lost 700 jobs from October 2017 to November 2017, but was up 6,100 positions since November 2016. This represents a 0.3 percent decrease for the month, and a 2.7 percent increase for the past 12 months. Within this sector, employment in administrative, support and waste management declined by 1,000 jobs from October 2017 to November 2017. Management of companies was down by 200 jobs. Professional, scientific and technical services employment was up 500 jobs from October 2017 to November 2017.

The government sector decreased by 500 jobs in November 2017. The federal government added 200 jobs in November, while state government employment decreased by 200 jobs, and local government fell by 500 jobs. Since November 2016, government employment is down by 2,200 jobs or 0.7 percent.

Education and health services sectors lost 200 jobs in November 2017. Within the sector, employment in health care and social assistance increased by 300 jobs, while educational services decreased by 500 jobs. Since last November, the sector has grown by 2,600 positions or 1 percent.

Employment in information services sector declined by 100 jobs from October 2017 to November 2017. This sector has grown by 900 jobs or 3.9 percent since November 2016. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Employment in mining and logging decreased by 100 jobs in November 2017. This sector has declined by 500 positions or 5.1 percent since November last year.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary 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.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. 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. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Learn more about Kentucky’s labor market information at kylmi.ky.gov/

Kentucky Education and Workforce Cabinet

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