State unemployment rate increases

17 August 2019 - Taylor Six (Richmond Register)

Kentucky's unemployment rate rose slightly last month but remains below the level of last year.

Figures released Thursday by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet show the state's seasonally adjusted preliminary July 2019 unemployment rate was 4.3%, up from the 4.1% reported for June, but down 0.1% from the 4.4% recorded for the state in July 2018.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for July 2019 was 3.7%, unchanged from June 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Kentucky civilian labor force was 2,068,217 in July 2019, an increase of 1,040 individuals from June 2019. The number of people employed in July was down by 2,098, while the number unemployed increased by 3,138, the press release stated.

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky's seasonally adjusted non-farm employment increased by 4,300 jobs in July 2019 compared to June 2019. Kentucky has added 28,100 jobs since July 2018, for a growth rate of 1.5%.

"Despite uncertainty over trade issues, Kentucky's employment continued to show strong growth in July," said University of Kentucky's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Interim Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. "In 2018, Kentucky employers added 16,100 jobs. They exceeded this number during the first seven months of 2019, adding 19,800 jobs. However, the household survey indicates that fewer people worked in July, contributing to a higher unemployment rate."

According to the release, Kentucky's mining and logging sector decreased by 300 jobs from June 2019 to July 2019, and was also down 300 jobs from a year ago.

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. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.