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Kentucky Jobless Rate Now on Par with National Average

Anna Bizo?, 123rf Stock Photo

The Kentucky unemployment rate is now on par with the national average. The July jobless rate dipped to 4.9% from 5% in June. 

Office of Employment and Training economist Manoj Shanker says the data is “worth celebrating” because it’s the first time the state has dropped below 5% in 15 years. 

A separate federal jobs study (which excludes jobs in agriculture and people self-employed) disappointed officials marking a loss in retail trade, construction and government jobs contributing to a decrease in the overall labor force.

In July, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,967,839, a decrease of 6,183 individuals from the previous month. Employment was down 4,100 yet the number of unemployed decreased by 2,083. 

Shankar says a “soft job market” means employers aren’t under pressure to raise wages, a situation that remains unchanged from a year ago. 

The largest decreases came from Kentucky’s largest sector: trade, transportation and utilities, with a loss of 3,000 jobs. Government (including public education, administration and state-owned hospitals) had a drop of 1,700 jobs followed by the construction sector with 1,500 jobs lost.

The manufacturing sector saw a notable increase in 2,300 jobs last month - following a national trend. Financial activities, the “other” service sector including maintenance and personal care, education, health and hospitality  also saw an increase.

More on Kentucky employment data

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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