State Releases September 2018 Unemployment Report

18 October 2018

(The Lane Report)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary September 2018 unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for September 2018 was up from the 4.4 percent reported for August 2018.

The preliminary September 2018 jobless rate was down 0.2 percentage points from the 4.7 percent recorded for the state in September 2017.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for September 2018 was 3.7 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from the 3.9 percent reported for August 2018, 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 2,311 individuals to its civilian labor force in September 2018. This brings the state’s labor force to 2,073,753. The number of people employed in September was up by 777, while the number unemployed increased by 1,534.

“The total number of people working in Kentucky increased during September,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Associate Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “However, the increase in the number of people who were unemployed was greater—causing the unemployment rate to increase.”

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 2,100 jobs in September 2018 compared to August 2018. Kentucky has added 14,500 jobs since September 2017, a 0.8 percent employment growth.

“Among the more notable results from the employment data that BLS released this month are the revisions for August,” Clark said. “The preliminary data released last month had suggested that Kentucky’s employment decreased in August. The revised data show employment increased by 3,700 in August. This was followed by an additional 2,100 jobs in the preliminary estimates for September.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, six of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors saw employment increases from the previous month while four declined and one was unchanged.

Employment in Kentucky’s construction sector jumped 2.3 percent, adding 1,700 jobs from August 2018 to September 2018. Over the past 12 months, construction employment is down 900 positions or 1.2 percent.

Trade, transportation and utilities sector gained 900 jobs in September 2018. All three subsectors showed growth from August 2018 to September 2018. Wholesale trade added 600 positions; retail trade gained 200 positions; and transportation, warehousing and utilities added 100 positions. This sector has expanded by 9,700 positions or 2.4 percent since September 2017.

Employment in the professional and business services sector increased by 500 jobs from August 2018 to September 2018, a gain of 0.2 percent. This sector has added 3,500 jobs since September 2017.

The leisure and hospitality sector increased by 300 jobs from August 2018 to September 2018. The accommodations and food service subsector added 400 jobs, while the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector fell by 100 jobs in September 2018. Since September 2017, leisure and hospitality has lost 600 positions or 0.3 percent.

Education and health services sector grew by 100 jobs in September 2018. Within this sector, health care and social assistance added 200 jobs and educational services lost 100 jobs. Employment in education and health services for September 2018 was up 900 since a year ago.

Employment in Kentucky’s mining and logging sector rose by 100 jobs from August 2018 to September 2018. Employment in this sector is up 200 positions since September 2017.

Employment in the financial activities sector was unchanged from August 2018 to September 2018. This sector has gained 1,000 jobs since last September. Within the sector, the finance and insurance subsector added 100 jobs and the real estate, rental and leasing subsector lost 100 jobs.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector decreased by 200 jobs from August 2018 to September 2018, a drop of 0.1 percent. Durable goods manufacturing declined by 600 jobs. Employment in nondurable goods manufacturing added 400 jobs in September. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was up by 400 since September 2017.

“The revised August estimates suggest that manufacturing employment did not decline as indicated initially last month,” said Clark. “However, the data does point to more variation in manufacturing employment from month-to-month, which might indicate that manufacturers are less certain about demand for their products.”

Information services sector lost 100 jobs in September 2018. This sector has declined by 300 jobs since September 2017. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

The government sector decreased by 1,000 jobs in September 2018. Federal government employment declined by 200 jobs; state government jobs fell by 100; and local government fell by 700 jobs. Total government employment is down 300 since September 2017.

Employment in the other services sector was down by 200 from August 2018 to September 2018. Other services rose by 900 jobs from a year ago for a growth rate of 1.4 percent since September 2017. Other services sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

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