Hospitality, construction industries show job gains, some others still mixed

15 July 2021 - Steve Rogers (WTVQ)

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary June 2021 unemployment rate was 4.4%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics, an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary June 2021 jobless rate was down 0.1 percentage points from the revised 4.5% in May 2021 and down 1.3 percentage points from the 5.7% recorded for the state one year ago when restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 limited certain business operations.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June 2021 was 5.9%, up from the 5.8% reported in May 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based upon estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. The survey is designed to measure trends in the number of people working, and includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,980,926 in June 2021, a decrease of 7,184 individuals from May 2021. The number of people employed in June decreased by 5,843 to 1,893,139 while the number unemployed decreased by 1,341 to 87,787.

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 3,200 jobs in June 2021 compared to May 2021. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 84,500 jobs or 4.7% compared to June 2020.

“The two surveys that measure employment provided mixed signals for June,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “The survey of households showed that Kentucky’s unemployment rate fell in June. However, fewer of Kentucky’s residents reported being employed in June than in May. The unemployment rate fell because fewer people were participating in the state’s labor force. The labor force has declined for the past four months.”

“Kentucky’s businesses reported higher employment numbers in June, suggesting that Kentucky’s economy is continuing to climb out of the recession,” said Clark. “Employment gains were widespread but the leisure and hospitality sector showed the largest improvements as customers continued to return to these businesses.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for seven of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in June 2021 while four declined.

Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector increased by 3,000 positions from May 2021 to June 2021, a gain of 1.8%. This sector was up 21,600 jobs or 14.3% compared to June 2020. The accommodations and food services subsector added 2,200 jobs from May to June and the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector added 800 positions.

Kentucky’s construction sector jumped by 2,700 jobs in June 2021, a 3.4% increase from May. The construction sector was up 6,900 positions or 9.2% from one year ago.

“Construction firms ramped up employment in June as demand for new housing remains strong,” said Clark.

The government sector added 2,100 positions from May 2021 to June 2021, an increase of 0.7%. Federal government employment fell by 100 jobs while state government employment increased by 2,200 jobs. Local government employment was unchanged from May to June. Total government employment was up 4,400 positions or 1.5% compared to June 2020.

Kentucky’s educational and health services sector increased by 1,100 jobs in June 2021. The educational services subsector gained 500 positions and the health care and social assistance subsector added 600 jobs from May to June. Since last June, this sector has increased by 13,800 jobs or 5.2%.

The financial activities sector gained 600 positions in June 2021. The finance and insurance subsector increased by 700 jobs while the real estate, rental and leasing subsector fell by 100 jobs from May 2021 to June 2021. The sector has expanded by 4,100 jobs or 4.5% from last June.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector added 500 positions from May 2021 to June 2021. Retail trade employment was up 300 jobs in June; wholesale trade was up 700 positions; and transportation, warehousing and utilities was down 500 jobs. Since June 2020, employment in this sector has increased by 14,800 jobs or 3.8%.

Employment in the other services sector increased by 400 jobs in June 2021 and up 2,900 positions since June 2020. The other services sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

Information services sector jobs fell by 100 positions from May to June. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications. Jobs in this sector were unchanged from from one year ago.

The number of jobs in Kentucky’s mining and logging sector decreased by 200 positions from May 2021 to June 2021 and was also down 200 positions or 2.8% from a year ago.

Employment at Kentucky’s manufacturers was down 800 jobs or 0.3% from May 2021 to June 2021. The durable goods subsector lost 1,000 jobs in June 2021 while non-durable goods gained 200 jobs. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was up 10,100 positions or 4.3% since June 2020.

The professional and business services sector dropped by 6,100 jobs or 2.9% in June 2021. The administrative and support and waste management subsector lost 5,000 positions; the management of companies subsector lost 100 jobs; and the professional, scientific and technical services subsector lost 1,000 positions. Employment in this sector was up 6,100 or 3.1% since June 2020.

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, due to the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

To learn more about Kentucky labor market information, visit