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For First Time, Unemployment Drops in All 120 Kentucky Counties

For the first time on record, unemployment rates fell in all 120 Kentucky counties between August 2013 and August 2014, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

“The underlying message is that we have left the recession behind. That doesn’t mean unemployment rates will decrease each month in all 120 counties,” cautioned economist Manoj Shanker of the OET. “The survey data is prone to volatility. The overall trend is positive, but there will be times – perhaps as soon as next month – when instead of all 120 counties recovering, it may be 100 counties.

Owen, Simpson and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the Commonwealth at 5.1 percent each. They were followed by Oldham and Shelby counties, 5.2 percent each; and Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Logan, Monroe and Todd counties, 5.3 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate – 13.3 percent. It was followed by Jackson County, 12.2 percent; Harlan County, 12.1 percent; Fulton, Leslie and Letcher counties, 11.5 percent each; Knott County, 11 percent; Bell County, 10.6 percent; Clay County, 10.2 percent; and Christian County, 9.9 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. These statistics are not seasonally adjusted because of the small sample size for each county. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

From Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet