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Unemployment rates rise in 113 Kentucky counties during past year; Magoffin jobless rate 13.5 percent


Unemployment rates rose in 113 Kentucky counties between September 2019 and September 2020, fell in six and was the same in Crittenden County, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.



Oldham County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Carlisle, Cumberland, Pendleton, Shelby, Todd and Washington counties, 3.8 percent each; Henry and Spencer counties, 3.9 percent each; and Logan County, 4 percent.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 13.5 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 11.2 percent; Martin County, 10 percent; Letcher County, 9.3 percent; Breathitt and Leslie counties, 8.6 percent; Floyd County, 8.5 percent; Perry County, 8.3 percent; Knott County, 8 percent; and Johnson County, 7.9 percent.

Kentucky’s county unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. 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. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 5.2 percent for September 2020, and 7.7 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was released on Oct. 15, 2020, and can be viewed at kentucky.gov. In that release, Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are adjusted to observe statistical trends by removing seasonal influences such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. For more information regarding seasonal fluctuations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov.

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 data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI.

From Education and Workforce Development Cabinet

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