State figures show unemployment rate up slightly from June to July

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary July unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from June, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics. The rate was 0.3 percentage points higher than a year ago.

“The household survey may suggest that Kentucky’s economy slowed somewhat this month but with a 5.3 percent unemployment rate, the state’s economy is still healthy,” said Chris Bollinger, Director of the University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research.

Bollinger said in a press release that the addition of 7,700 non-farm jobs is “very encouraging, especially considering the slow growth that occurred during the second quarter.”

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for July 2017 was 4.3 percent, down 0.1 percentage points from June, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In Louisville, the unemployment rate is 4.6 percent, up from 4.5 percent a year earlier, according to KentuckianaWorks.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 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 July 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,067,399, a decrease of 10,219 from the previous month. Employment was down by 13,898 while the number of job seekers increased by 3,679.

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.

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 7,700 jobs in July 2017 compared to June 2017. Kentucky has added 23,300 jobs since July 2016, a 1.2 percent increase.

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, eight of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System job sectors experienced employment growth from the previous month. Two sectors declined from the previous month and one was unchanged.

Sectors that added jobs from June to July:

Manufacturing: 3,000.

Trade, transportation and utilities sector: 2,300.

Government: 1,700.

Construction: 500.

Professional and business services: 400.

Information services: 200.

Financial activities: 100.

Leisure and hospitality: 100.

“Professional and business services has grown considerably since 2010 and now accounts for nearly 12 percent of Kentucky’s non-farm employment,” Bollinger said. “This is a positive sign for the state as these jobs generally pay above average wages.”

Employment in the mining and logging sector was unchanged in July 2017, jobs in other services, including repairs and maintenance, fell by 300, and the number of jobs in the education and health services sector fell by 300.

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.