Seeing 'now hiring' signs everywhere? Kentucky's unemployment rate is at a 42-year low

(Herald Leader, 21 April 2018)

Unemployment in Kentucky is at the lowest rate ever recorded in the 42 years since the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics began providing the data.

The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet said the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment in March was 4 percent, down from 5.2 percent a year earlier.

Nationally, unemployment in March stood at 4.1 percent, the same as it was in February. Kentucky's revised unemployment rate for February was 4.1 percent.

“Kentucky’s employment continued to improve in March with employers adding 1,200 jobs and unemployment rate declining to 4 percent. However, as the labor market has tightened, growth in payroll employment has slowed somewhat,” Chris Bollinger, director of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said in the state's news release.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector is showing the largest increase, up 9,900 positions, or 2.5 percent, from March 2017.

Employment in education and health services has declined, though, dropping by 1,100 jobs since last March.

“While health care employment typically shows consistent growth, it has declined in nine of the last 12 months,” Bollinger said. “As a result, health care employment was lower in both February and March than the year before.”

As of March, Kentucky had 2,049,934 people in its civilian labor force, up 941 people from the previous month.

The unemployment rate and other labor statistics are based on estimates and include jobs in agriculture and self-employed people.