State has slight dip in unemployment rate

27 January 2020 - Tom Latek (Kentucky Today)

FRANKFORT — There was a dip in Kentucky’s unemployment rate in December compared to the previous month, according to the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary December 2019 jobless rate was 4.3%, down 0.1 percentage points from the 4.4% recorded for the state in November 2019, as well as for December 2018. This compares to the U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for December 2019 of 3.5%, unchanged from November 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,087,383 in December 2019, a net increase of 5,020 from November. The number of people employed in December rose by 5,412, while the number unemployed was up by 392.

“Kentucky’s employers reduced their payrolls in December,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research Interim Director Mike Clark. “In spite of businesses reporting slower jobs growth, more people indicated that they worked in December. This helped push the state’s unemployment rate down slightly.”

Job sectors seeing increases were leisure and hospitality, educational and health services, as well as manufacturing,

“While Kentucky’s manufacturing sector posted job gains in December, employment growth in this sector has slowed and become more volatile in recent months,” Clark noted. “This is fairly consistent with manufacturing trends nationally.”

Job sectors seeing losses were trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; government; mining and logging; construction; information services; financial services and other services.

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.