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Kentucky’s unemployment rate dropped in December to 4.4 percent, bucking national trend

Kentucky Today

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky’s unemployment rate dropped in December, according to figures released Thursday by the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The seasonally adjusted preliminary December 2018 unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, down from the 4.5 percent reported for November 2018, and also down 0.1 percent from December 2017.

This bucked the national trend, as the U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for December 2018 was 3.9 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from its November 2018 level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Kentucky civilian labor force decreased by 1,584 in December, bringing it to 2,074,067. The number of people employed in December was up by 45, while the number unemployed decreased by 1,629.

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 4,500 jobs in December compared to the previous month. Kentucky has added 21,300 jobs since December 2017, a 1.1 percent employment growth.

“The two surveys used to measure employment trends provided mixed results for December,” said the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research Associate Director Dr. Mike Clark.

“While the household survey suggests that employment was basically unchanged from November to December, the business establishment survey showed that firms added 4,500 jobs to their payrolls. Although the surveys often provide a different indication of how employment changed during a given month, they generally show similar trends over time.”

Every employment sector saw growth, except for leisure and hospitality, government and information services.  The three sectors with the largest growth in jobs were professional and business services, construction, and manufacturing.

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