Kentucky Unemployment Claims Decrease in May

18 June 2020 - West Kentucky Star

The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet  says the state's seasonally adjusted preliminary May 2020 unemployment rate was 11 percent. 

The Cabinet says the preliminary May 2020 jobless rate was down 5.6 percentage points from April 2020, and was up 6.7 percentage points from the 4.3 percent recorded for the state in May 2019. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for May 2020 was 13.3 percent, down from 14.7 percent in April 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Kentucky's civilian labor force was 2,030,556 in May 2020, a decrease of 21,707 individuals from April 2020. The number of people employed in May increased by 95,362, while the number unemployed decreased by 117,069.

"The number of workers employed increased in May, pushing the state's unemployment rate down to 11 percent," said University of Kentucky's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. "However, Kentucky's unemployed rate remains high and some workers have—at least temporarily—stopped looking for work."

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 30,400 jobs, or 1.9 percent, in May 2020 compared to April 2020. Kentucky's employment was down 286,900 jobs relative to May 2019, or 14.8 percent.

"With social distancing restrictions easing, employers have taken tentative steps to bring some of their employees back to work," Clark said. "While encouraging, the increase in jobs from April to May represents only a small portion of the jobs lost in recent months."