FRANKFORT Unemployment rates fell in 85 Kentucky counties between October 2018 and October 2019, rose in 24 and stayed the same in 11 counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Fayette and Oldham counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the Commonwealth at 2.8 percent each. It was followed by Boone and Woodford counties, 2.9 percent each; Campbell, Henry, Pendleton, Scott and Shelby counties, 3 percent each; and Jessamine, Kenton and Spencer counties, 3.1 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 10.9 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 10.3 percent; Leslie County, 8.8 percent; Letcher County, 7.6 percent; Elliott County, 7 percent; Lewis County, 6.9 percent; Breathitt County, 6.7 percent; Bell and Owsley counties, 6.4 percent each; and Knott, Martin and Wolfe counties, 6.2 percent each.

Rowan County’s rate was 4.6 percent for October 2019, up from 4.5 percent in September 2019 and 4.4 percent in October 2018. Other rates for October 2019 were Bath, 4.9 percent; Menifee, 5.1 percent; Montgomery, 4.3 percent; Morgan, 4.4 percent.

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.

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 3.7 percent for October 2019, and 3.3 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was released last week and can be viewed at https://kentucky.gov/Pages/Activity-stream.aspx?n=EducationCabinet&prId=370. 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 https://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm#why.

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