June unemployment figures remain below 2017 pace


FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Unemployment rose slightly in Kentucky in June, but remains well below the level of a year ago.

Figures released by the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet on Thursday showed a preliminary jobless rate of 4.2 percent last month, which is up 0.1 percent from May but remains 0.9 percentage points lower than the 5.1 percent recorded for the state in June 2017.

“After falling to a low of 4 percent in March and April, Kentucky’s unemployment rate increased in both May and June,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research Associate Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “The increase resulted from more people entering the workforce and looking for work in June rather than a decline in the number of people employed.”

In June 2018, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,063,041, an increase of 4,616 individuals compared to the previous month. The number of people employed was up by 1,921, while the number unemployed increased by 2,695.

However, a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 4,600 jobs in June 2018 compared to May 2018. Kentucky has added 3,100 jobs since June 2017, a 0.2 percent employment growth.

“While the household survey indicates more people worked in June, the establishment survey points to fewer jobs,” said Clark. “Although these two measures of employment move different directions in some months, they tend to show similar trends over time.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, only one of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System job sectors experienced employment growth from the previous month while eight decreased and two were unchanged.

The only area that saw growth in June was
Kentucky’s information services sector, which increased by 300 jobs.  The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting, along with telecommunications.

Kentucky’s uptick in unemployment reflects the
U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June, which was an even four percent, up 0.2 percentage points from the 3.8 percent reported for May 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 


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