State releases county unemployment data

 FRANKFORT — Unemployment rates fell in Clark and 68 other Kentucky counties between December 2017 and December 2018, rose in 38 and stayed the same in 13 counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

KYSTATS reports Clark County’s unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in December 2018, down from 3.7 percent in December 2017. The rate rose slightly from 3.3 percent in November 2018.

According to the report, there are currently 16,774 Clark residents employed, with 594 unemployed.

In surrounding counties, Powell had the highest unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. Other surrounding counties were 4.4 percent in Estill County, 3.5 percent in Madison County, 3.4 percent in Montgomery County and 5.1 percent in Bourbon County.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.6 percent. It was followed by Fayette and Oldham counties, 2.8 percent each; Shelby and Spencer counties, 2.9 percent each; and Anderson, Boone, Campbell, Kenton and Scott counties, 3 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 11.3 percent. It was followed by Carter County, 7.8 percent; Elliott County, 7.4 percent; Lewis County, 7.3 percent; Menifee and Wolfe counties, 6.9 percent each; Owsley County, 6.6 percent; Jackson and Lawrence counties, 6.4 percent; and Breathitt and Harlan counties, 6.1 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 3.8 percent for December 2018, and 3.7 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was released last week. 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. Kentucky’s seasonally-adjusted preliminary December 2018 unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for December 2018 was down from the 4.5 percent reported for November 2018.The preliminary December 2018 jobless rate was down 0.1 percentage points from the 4.5 percent recorded for the state in December 2017.

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.  For more information regarding seasonal fluctuations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at https://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm#why.

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 https://kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI.