A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Unemployment rates fall in most Kentucky counties; Boone, Campbell, Kenton ranked among lowest

Unemployment rates fell in 115 Kentucky counties between August 2017 and August 2018, rose in Owen, Monroe and Metcalfe counties, and stayed the same in Nelson and Lyon counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Boone, Campbell and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the Commonwealth at 3.1 percent each. It was followed by Fayette, Kenton and Oldham counties, 3.2 percent each; Scott, Shelby and Spencer counties, 3.3 percent each; and Jessamine and Washington counties, 3.4 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 11.7 percent. It was followed by Carter County, 8.9 percent; Elliott County, 7.8 percent; Harlan County, 7.5 percent; Owsley County, 7.2 percent; Clay, Knott and Leslie counties, 6.9 percent each; Breathitt County, 6.7 percent; and Lewis and Wolfe counties, 6.6 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 August 2018, and 3.9 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was released last week and can be viewed here. In that release, Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are adjusted to observe statistical trends by removing seasonal influences such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. For more information regarding seasonal fluctuations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at this website.

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 data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at the website.

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