Kentucky’s unemployment rate increases to 5.1 percent in June 2017

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary June unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for June 2017 was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent reported in May 2017.

The preliminary June 2017 jobless rate was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent rate recorded for the state in June 2016.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June 2017 was 4.4 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The U.S. unemployment rate for June was also up 0.1 percentage points from the 4.3 percent reported in May 2017.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.

In June 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,077,465, a decrease of 8,530 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was down by 10,721, while the number of unemployed increased by 2,191.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate has remained steady around 5 percent for the past 24 months,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Chris Bollinger, Ph.D.

The Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) recently partnered with the CBER to prepare economic analyses on the state’s workforce and labor market data, including the monthly statewide and county unemployment rate news releases.

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 decreased by 500 jobs in June 2017 compared to May 2017. Kentucky has added 30,900 jobs since June 2016, a 1.6 percent employment growth.

“Kentucky has experienced solid and steady employment growth since 2010. However, both measures of employment suggest that Kentucky’s employment growth has slowed recently,” said Bollinger. “The survey of businesses indicates that Kentucky employers added about 7,600 jobs in the first quarter of 2017, but only 600 jobs in the second quarter.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, five of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors registered gains in employment, while six declined from the previous month.

Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector showed the largest gain, adding 1,800 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. This represents an increase of 0.4 percent since May 2017 and 2 percent since June 2016. Since June 2016, this sector is up by 8,100 jobs.

“This sector’s employment has steadily increased since early 2010, supported in part by the growth in other sectors such as manufacturing,” said Bollinger. “Kentucky has a number of important location and infrastructure features such as major interstates that help support this important industry.”

Professional and business services rose by 1,600 jobs, a 0.7 percent increase in June 2017. This sector has added 8,900 jobs since June 2016, a 4.1 percent growth. This sector includes administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.

Leisure and hospitality expanded by 1,000 jobs in June 2017. Since June 2016, employment in this sector has risen 3,300 or 1.7 percent. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.

The information services sector increased by 200 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. Kentucky has seen a 6.1 percent growth in information jobs since June 2016 with 1,400 more positions. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Other services sector gained 900 jobs in June 2017 and 2,200 since June 2016. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector lost 1,600 jobs, a 0.6 percent decrease, in June 2017. However, since June 2016, this sector has added 1,900 jobs, a 0.8 percent increase. Both durable and nondurable manufacturing showed decreases in employment from May 2017 to June 2017 but added positions over the year.

The education and health services sector decreased by 1,000 jobs in June 2017. This sector has added 2,600 jobs since June 2016, a 1 percent growth rate. Within this sector, employment in educational services increased by 700 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. Health care and social assistance employment dropped by 1,700 jobs.

Construction employment fell by 800 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. However, construction employment is up 2,900 jobs or 3.8 percent since June 2016.

The financial activities sector lost 800 jobs in June 2017. Since June 2016, this sector has gained 2,000 jobs or 2.1 percent.

Mining and logging decreased by 100 jobs in June 2017. This sector has dropped by 600 positions, or 5.8 percent, since June last year.

The government sector declined by 1,700 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017, and 1,800 since last June. In June 2017, state government employment decreased by 1,000 jobs, while local government jobs fell by 800 and federal government was up by 100.

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

For more information about Kentucky’s labor market, visit

Posted on 20 July 2017 by News Democrat & Leader