Report: Kentucky unemployment rate mostly unchanged in May

26 June 2019 - Tom Latek (Richmond Register)

FRANKFORT -- Kentucky's unemployment rate in May remained steady while the civilian labor force increased from April, according to figures released by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet on Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted preliminary May 2019 jobless rate stood at 4 percent, the same as in April, but down 0.4 percentage points from the 4.4 percent recorded for the state in May 2018.

Meanwhile, the civilian labor force increased by 1,654 in May, bringing the state's labor force to 2,066,916.

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 100 jobs in May 2019 compared to April 2019. Kentucky has added 18,900 jobs since May 2018, for a growth rate of 1 percent.

"Kentucky's unemployment rate remained low in May, as most new workers entering the labor force appear to be finding jobs," said Dr. Mike Clark, the University of Kentucky's Center for Business and Economic Research Associate Director. "However, nonfarm employment growth slowed in May, largely due to reduced employment in the professional and business services sector and the financial activities sector."

Four of Kentucky's 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System job sectors saw employment increases from the previous month while six declined and one was unchanged.

Leisure and Hospitality, Construction, Education and Health Services and information services were the sectors seeing growth. Losses were seen in were seen in the others, while mining and logging was unchanged.

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.