Owsley County, with a workforce of just under 1,600 people, recorded the lowest rate of unemployment in the district at 11.9 percent in February, down one-half of a percentage point from the previous month’s figures.
Perry County recorded the second lowest rate of unemployment in February with a rate of 12.6 percent, which held steady from January. Perry County boasts the largest workforce in the district, with 11,756 people, of which 10,280 were employed in February. The jobless rate from December of 2009 to February of this year jumped by more than a percentage point.
The largest jump in unemployment from the last month of 2009 to February was recorded in Knott County, which came in with a jobless rate of 14.5 percent, up slightly from January and up by nearly three percentage points since December, when local officials announced a large reduction in the number of employees working for county government.
But despite the large increase in unemployment in Knott County, Wolfe County countinues to rate highest in unemployment in the local development district, recording a whopping 16.9 percent in February, which is actually a slight decrease from the previous month. Of the county’s estimated 2,445 people in the labor force, 412 were unemployed.
Other counties in the development district recorded the following rates in February:
Breathitt – 12.8 percent
Lee – 14.2 percent
Leslie – 14.9 percent
Letcher – 12.9 percent.