Unemployment drops in all area counties

2 August 2020 - Keith Lawrence (Messenger-Inquirer)

State records show that unemployment rates dropped dramatically in June.

But things aren’t as good as the numbers indicate.

Mike Clark, director of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research, says things haven’t returned to normal.

“The lower unemployment rate was driven primarily by a large number of unemployed workers who stopped looking for work,” he said in a news release. “Employment did improve in June, but there were still approximately 158,000 fewer people employed in June than in February.”

Having said that, here are the results for area counties:

Daviess was at 4.2% unemployment in June, down from 10.2% in May and 4.4% a year earlier.

Hancock was at 4.3% — down from 13.6% and tied with June 2019.

McLean dropped to 3.7% from 8.1% in May and 4.9% a year earlier.

Muhlenberg fell to 5.9% from 11.6% and 7%.

And Ohio was at 4.6% in June — down from 10.1% in May and 5.8% in June 2019.

• Allegiant Air said last week that it lost $105.4 million in the second quarter and $54.3 million for the first six months of the year.

A strong January and February helped the six-month earnings.

• Back-to-School shopping would normally be in full swing by now.

But the start of school is still three weeks away.

Deloit, a company that studies shopping trends, predicts that sales “will likely remain flat, reaching a collective $28.1 billion per household for K-12 students, or approximately $529; back-to-college shoppers will spend $25.4 billion, or approximately $1,345 per student.”

It added, “Spending is continuing to shift toward digital products over more traditional items, most notably with a 28% increase in technology spending for K-12 students, now an $8.6 billion market.”

• Gas prices were nudging the $2 mark at several local stations last week.

But you could still find it just below $1.70 at some stations in town.

• El Molcajete Mexican Cuisine has applied for a liquor license for a restaurant in Audubon Plaza — across Parrish Avenue from Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn.

• Dunkin’ said last week that it plans to close 800 U.S. locations this year.

• McDonald’s said last week that its net income dropped 68% in the second quarter.

U.S. same-store sales decreased 8.7%.

But by June, the loss was only 2.3%.