November 2018 unemployment report released

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary November 2018 unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for November 2018 was unchanged from October 2018.

The state’s jobless rate was also at 4.5 percent in November 2017.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for November 2018 was 3.7 percent, also unchanged from its October 2018 level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. The survey is designed to measure trends in the number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

Kentucky added 277 individuals to its civilian labor force in November 2018, bringing the state’s labor force to 2,075,664 . The number of people employed in November was up by 1,705, while the number unemployed decreased by 1,428.

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 5,200 jobs in November 2018 compared to October 2018. Kentucky has added 17,000 jobs since November 2017, a 0.9 percent employment growth.

“Employers added workers to their payrolls in November,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Associate Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “With relatively few new people entering the labor force this month, this hiring helped to reduce the number of people unemployed.”

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 (NAICS) job sectors saw employment increases from the previous month while three declined.

Employment in Kentucky’s professional and business services sector rebounded in November 2018, adding 2,700 jobs over October 2018 for a gain of 1.3 percent. This sector is up 4,200 jobs since November 2017. The job gains were concentrated in the administrative and support and waste management subsector, which added 2,400 jobs. Employment in the professional, scientific, and technical services subjector added 400 positions. Employment in the management of companies decreased by 100 jobs.

“Employment in professional and business services has been trending upward during the past year but is also fairly volatile from month-to-month,” said Clark. “The upward trend reflects growth in the professional, scientific and technical services subjector, while the volatility reflect monthly changes in the administrative and support and waste management subsector.”

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector rose by 1,200 jobs from October 2018 to November 2018, a gain of 0.5 percent. Durable goods manufacturing decreased by 100 jobs while nondurable goods manufacturing grew by 1,300 jobs in November. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment is up by 2,700 since November 2017.

Trade, transportation and utilities sector increased by 1,000 jobs in November 2018. Since November 2017, employment in this sector is up 9,300 jobs or 2.3 percent. Wholesale trade added 600 positions in November 2018 while retail trade rose by 600 positions in November. Transportation, warehousing and utilities lost 200 jobs.

Employment in the education and health services sector expanded by 800 jobs in November 2018. This increase was driven enrirely by gains in the health care and social assistance subsector. Since last November, the sector has added 1,900 positions.

Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector increased by 700 jobs from October 2018 to November 2018, an increase of 0.4. This sector is down 1,900 jobs since November 2017. The accommodations and food services subsector gained 500 jobs in November 2018.

The government sector increased by 300 jobs in November 2018. Federal government employment increased by 100 jobs, state government employment was unchanged; and local government increased by 200 jobs. Total government employment is down 300 jobs since November 2017.

Information services sector gained 100 jobs in November 2018 but has declined by 500 jobs since November 2017. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Employment in the other services sector was up by 100 positions from October 2018 to November 2018, and rose by 200 jobs from a year ago. Other services sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

The financial activities sector fell by 800 jobs from October 2018 to November 2018. This sector is up 1,600 jobs compared to last November. Within the sector, the finance and insurance subsector declined by 700 jobs and the real estate, rental and leasing subsector lost 100 jobs.

Employment in Kentucky’s construction sector decrease by 800 jobs from October 2018 to November 2018, a drop of 1 percent. Over the past 12 months, construction employment is down by 400 positions.

Kentucky’s mining and logging sector declined by 100 jobs from October 2018 to November 2018. Employment in this sector is up 200 positions since November 2017.

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.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at