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Unemployment rates rise in 117 Kentucky counties during past year; Magoffin jobless rate 18.1 percent

Unemployment rates rose in 117 Kentucky counties between March 2019 and March 2020, fell in one (Crittenden County) and stayed the same in two (Owen and Robertson counties), 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 4.1 percent. It was followed by Fayette and Shelby counties, 4.4 percent each; Boone, Marion, Spencer and Woodford counties, 4.5 percent each; Scott County, 4.6 percent; and Campbell, Jessamine and Kenton counties, 4.7 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 18.1 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 14.5 percent; Leslie County, 13.5 percent; Breathitt County, 12.6 percent; Martin County, 12.4 percent; Elliott County, 12.1 percent; Lewis County, 11.7 percent; Letcher County, 11.4 percent; Menifee County 10.5 percent; and Knott County, 10.2 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 5.7 percent for March 2020, and 4.5 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was released on April 16, 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.

Additional information is available on the Education & Workforce Development Cabinet website.

From Education & Workforce Development Cabinet

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