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Annual unemployment rates fell in 86 Kentucky counties in 2016; Woodford leads at 3.2 percent

Annual unemployment rates decreased in 86 Kentucky counties in 2016 compared to 2015, rose in 26 and stayed the same in eight, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The annual jobless rate for Woodford County was the lowest in the Commonwealth in 2016 at 3.2 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.4 percent; Fayette and Shelby counties, 3.5 percent each; Scott County, 3.7 percent; Boone, Campbell, Jessamine and Spencer counties, 3.8 percent each; and Warren County, 3.9 percent.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest annual unemployment rate in 2016 at 18.8 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 13 percent; Harlan County, 12.1 percent; Letcher County, 11.9 percent; Knott County, 11.2 percent; Elliott and Floyd counties, 10.9 percent each; Pike County, 10.8 percent; Perry County, 10.5 percent; and Lawrence County, 10.4 percent.

In 2016, 12 counties had annual rates at or above 10 percent compared to six counties in 2015.

In contrast to the monthly data national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted. The comparable, unadjusted annual state unemployment rate for the state was 5 percent for 2016, and 4.9 percent for the nation.

In 2016, 71 counties were above the comparable, unadjusted annual state unemployment of 5 percent, while 46 were below the state and three (Carroll, Meade and Crittenden counties) were the same rate.

Compared to the national unadjusted 2016 annual rate of 4.9 percent, 74 Kentucky counties had higher 2016 annual rates, while 44 were lower and two (Boyle and Grant counties) matched it.

Counties with the largest decline in annual unemployment rates from 2015 to 2016 were Russell County, -3.4 percentage points; Taylor County, -1.3 percentage points; Jackson County, -1.2 percentage points; and Casey and Edmonson counties, -1 percentage points each.

The counties that recorded the largest increases in annual unemployment rates from 2015 to 2016 were Magoffin County, +3.8 percentage points; Leslie County, +2.1 percentage points; Ballard and Floyd counties, +1.7 percentage points each; and Perry County, +1.6 percentage points.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military 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.

The statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted to allow for comparisons between United States, state and counties figures. The statistics in this news release may be revised in the future.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.

From Kentucky Office of Employment and Training

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