Unemployment rates in Kentucky reach new lows

Posted May 29, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2018 was the lowest recorded mark for the state since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began providing data in 1976, according to a news release affirmed recently.

The jobless rate was four (4) percent in March, which was down from a revised 4.1 percent rate for February. Kentucky’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in March 2017.

Kentucky’s rate in March was also below the national rate of 4.1 percent. The U.S. jobless rate in April dropped to 3.9 percent while Clinton County unemployment in March this year was about steady at 5.6 percent.

“Kentucky’s unemployment continued to improve in March with employers adding 1,200 jobs and (the) unemployment rate declining to four percent,” said Chris Bollinger, director of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

“However, as the labor market has tightened, growth in payroll employment has closed somewhat.”

As far as sectors go, Kentucky trade, transportation and utilities added 1,700 jobs in March, accounting for the largest increase. The sector was up 9,900 positions from the previous March, according to the news release.

Construction employment increased by 1,000 jobs from February/March, though the section remains down by 1,600 jobs over the past year.

The financial sector added 300 jobs in March while professional and business services gained 100 positions.

Mining and logging jobs were unchanged for the month, while manufacturing shed 700 jobs in March, according to the news release. The education and health services sector shed 300 jobs in March and is down 800 positions over the past 12 months.

“While health care employment typically shows consistent growth, it has declined in nine of the last 12 months,” Bollinger said. “As a result, health care employment was lower in both February and March than the year before.”

In March, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,049,934, an increase of 941 persons compared to February, according to the release.

The number of individuals employed rose 2,915, while the number who were jobless decreased by 1,974.