Unemployment rates fell in 82 Kentucky counties between October 2015 and October 2016, including Whitley and Knox counties, but rose in 33 counties, and stayed the same in five counties (Breckinridge, Knott, Laurel, McLean and Powell), according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Whitley County’s unemployment rate fell from 6.4 percent in October 2015 to 5.9 percent in October 2016. This was a 0.4 percent decrease from September’s rate. Whitley County tied Robertson and Graves counties with the 41st highest October unemployment rate in Kentucky.
Knox County’s unemployment rate fell from 7.6 percent in October 2015 to 7.3 percent in October 2016. Knox County tied Boyd County with the 24th highest October unemployment rate in Kentucky. Knox County’s October unemployment rate was 0.2 percent lower than September’s unemployment rate.
Laurel County’s unemployment rate stayed at 5.7 percent from October 2015 to October 2016. Laurel County had the 44th highest October unemployment rate in Kentucky. Laurel County’s October unemployment rate was 0.2 percent lower than September’s unemployment rate.
Among other neighboring counties, Bell County tied Russell County with the 18th highest October unemployment rate with 7.9 percent. McCreary County had the 30th highest October unemployment rate in the state with 6.7 percent.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3 percent. It was followed by Oldham and Shelby counties, 3.1 percent each; Fayette and Spencer counties, 3.3 percent each; Warren County, 3.4 percent; and Anderson, Boone, Campbell and Scott counties, 3.5 percent each.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 14.1 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 11.6 percent; Harlan County, 10.5 percent; Letcher County, 10.3 percent; Elliott County, 10.1 percent; Floyd County, 9.9 percent; Pike County, 9.6 percent; Knott County, 9.5 percent; and Clay and Perry counties, 9.3 percent each.
In contrast to the monthly national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 4.6 percent for October 2016, and 4.7 percent for the nation.
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 story are not seasonally adjusted because of the small sample size for each county.
Whitley County has a civilian labor force of 13,189 people with 12,407 employed and 782 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 2,004,254 people with 1,911,989 employed and 92,265 unemployed.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.