Kentucky’s October Unemployment Rate was 4.3%

18 November 2019 (The Lane Report)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary October 2019 unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC). The unemployment rate for October 2019 was down from the 4.4 percent reported for September 2019.

The preliminary October 2019 jobless rate was unchanged compared to the 4.3 percent recorded for the state in October 2018.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for October 2019 was 3.6 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from September 2019, 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 civilian labor force was 2,077,025 in October 2019, an increase of 3,771 individuals from September 2019. The number of people employed in October rose by 4,256, while the number unemployed decreased by 485.

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 3,000 jobs in October 2019 compared to September 2019. Kentucky has added 31,100 jobs since October 2018, for a growth rate of 1.6 percent.

“Kentucky experienced solid employment gains across most of its major sectors in October 2019,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Interim Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “Losses were mainly concentrated in manufacturing, which can be partially attributed to the strike activity, and mining and logging.”

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

The professional and business services sector added 1,700 jobs or 0.8 percent in October 2019. This sector has gained 3,900 jobs since October 2018. The administration and support and waste management subsector rose by 1,600 positions. The professional, scientific and technical services subsector was up 200 jobs in October and the management of companies subsector was down 100 positions.

“Employment gains in the professional and business services sector during the past couple of months might simply reflect monthly volatility rather than suggesting an upward trend,” said Clark.

Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector grew by 1,600 positions from September 2019 to October 2019. This sector is up 5,000 positions since October 2018. Most of the growth occurred in the accommodations and food services subsetor, which added 1,200 jobs. Employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation increased by 400 jobs.

Employment in Kentucky’s educational and health services sector jumped by 1,100 jobs in October 2019. The educational services subsector gained 300 jobs, while health care and social assistance subsector added 800 jobs. Since last October, the sector has expanded by 11,100 positions or 4 percent.

Construction employment increased by 500 jobs in October 2019. The construction sector was up 1,400 jobs or 1.8 percent during the past year.

Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector rose by 400 jobs in October 2019. Wholesale trade lost 1,400 jobs, retail trade jumped by 1,000 jobs, and transportation, warehousing, and utilities added 800 jobs. Since October 2018, employment in this sector has increased by 8,500 positions or 2.1 percent.

Employment grew by 400 jobs in the other services sector from September 2019 to October 2019. This sector was up by 1,500 positions since October 2018. The other services sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

The financial activities sector gained 200 jobs in October 2019. This increase occurred entirely in the real estate, rental and leasing subsector. The sector was up 1,300 jobs compared to last October.

Employment in the information services sector fell by 100 jobs in October 2019. This sector was also down 100 positions from a year ago. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

The government sector decreased by 300 jobs in October 2019 compared to September 2019. Federal government employment decreased by 200 jobs; state government employment was unchanged; and local government employment fell by 100 jobs. Total government employment has declined by 2,400 jobs since October 2018.

Kentucky’s mining and logging sector dropped by 500 jobs from September 2019 to October 2019, and was down 1,800 jobs, or 17.3 percent, from a year ago.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector was fell 2,000 jobs or 0.8 percent from September 2019 to October 2019. Durable goods manufacturing decreased by 2,400 jobs, while non-durable manufacturers added 400 jobs in September. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment has expanded by 2,700 jobs since October 2018.

“The strike activity contributed to October’s decrease in manufacturing employment,” said Clark. “However, with the resolution of the strike and return of these workers to their jobs at the end of October, this should represent less of a drag on November’s employment numbers.”

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