Kentucky’s unemployment rate at 4.8 percent in November


Staff Report



Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for November 2016 was 4.8 percent from a revised 5.1 percent in October 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary November 2016 jobless rate was 0.8 percentage points lower than the 5.6 percent rate recorded for the state in November 2015.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for November 2016 was 4.6 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.

In November 2016, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,004,568, an increase of 7,365 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 12,437, and the number of unemployed decreased by 5,072.

“In November, our labor force increased by .4 percent,” said Kentucky Labor Market Information Director Kate Shirley Akers, Ph.D. “Over the last year, Kentucky has seen growth in both the labor force and the number of employed, with the labor force growing by 2.8 percent and employment increasing by 3.7 percent.”

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 3,900 jobs in November 2016 compared to October 2016 and was up 15,600 positions since November 2015.

“Overall, nonfarm employment has increased by .8 percentage points from one year ago,” said Akers. “The largest month-to-month gain in jobs was in the professional and business services sector.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, six of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors registered gains in employment, while five declined from the previous month.

Kentucky’s professional and business services sector expanded by 5,700 jobs in November 2016 from a month ago. Year-over-year there was a gain of 6,800 jobs. This category includes establishments engaged in services that support the day-to-day activities of other organizations, including temporary employment services and payroll processing.

“The month-to-month increase in professional and business services sector was driven by gains in administrative and support, and waste management and remediation services, which includes temporary employment services. This area added 4,800 jobs from October 2016 to November 2016,” said Akers.

Employment in Kentucky’s manufacturing sector jumped by 600 jobs in November 2016 compared to the previous month. Over the year, manufacturing employment rose by 300. Durable goods account for two-thirds of the manufacturing sector and grew by .9 percent from a year ago with the addition of 1,500 jobs. Nondurable goods lost 1,200 jobs from a month ago but gained 700 positions over the year.

The construction sector increased by 500 jobs in November 2016 from a month ago. Since November 2015, construction jobs have decreased by 2,200 positions.

The financial activities sector rose by 500 jobs in November 2016 from a month ago. The sector has added 3,700 jobs since last October.

Employment in the other services sector, which includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services, and religious organizations, added 400 positions in November 2016 compared to a month ago, and gained 700 positions since last November.

Employment in educational and health services sector rose by 400 positions in November 2016, and had a robust gain of 8,300 jobs, or 3.1 percent, from a year ago. Health care jobs, which account for about 13 percent of all nonfarm employment in Kentucky and increased by 500 positions for the month and showed strong gains over the year with the addition of 9,800 jobs.

The government sector, which includes public education, public administration agencies and state-owned hospitals, decreased by 100 jobs in November 2016 and declined by 2,700 positions compared to last November.

Mining and logging sector jobs fell by 100 in November 2016 from a month ago. The industry has declined by 2,200 positions from a year ago.

Employment in the information sector dipped by 100 in November 2016. This segment has decreased by 1,000 positions from a year ago. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector dropped 1,500 jobs in November 2016 from a month ago. This is the largest sector in Kentucky with nearly 400,000 jobs accounting for one-fifth of all nonfarm employment. Since November 2015, this sector has expanded by 5,200 jobs. Retail trade added 900 jobs over the previous month, and gained 4,200 jobs over the year, while wholesale trade declined 1,200 jobs from a month ago and fell by 1,000 positions over the year.

The leisure and hospitality sector lost 2,400 jobs in November 2016 from a month ago. Since November last year, the sector has declined by 1,300 jobs. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary 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.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. 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. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Staff Report

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