Kentucky’s jobless rate up in April
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to a preliminary 6.1 percent in April 2006 from a revised 6 percent in March 2006, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. April’s preliminary jobless rate was above April 2005’s rate of 5.9 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 4.7 percent from March 2006 to April 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Kentucky’s unemployment rate has been in the 6 percent to 6.5 percent range for the past 12 months. Kentucky was one of 33 states that had a higher unemployment rate in April 2006 than in March 2006,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department's chief labor market analyst.
“At the same time, Kentucky recorded a gain in nonfarm payroll employment of 3,900 in April 2006 and 22,300 since April 2005. Altogether, 46 states along with the District of Columbia showed over-the-year increases in nonfarm employment,” Cracraft said.
Seven of the 11 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors had employment increases in April, while four decreased, Cracraft said. The addition of 3,900 jobs brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,843,500 in April 2006.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector added the most jobs for the second month in a row. The sector increased by 1,300 from March 2006 to April 2006. Since April 2005, the sector’s employment has gained 5,800 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
“During March and April 2006, the leisure and hospitality sector added 2,400 jobs. One portion of this sector, accommodations, and food services and drinking places industries, was responsible for about 80 percent of the growth,” Cracraft said.
The government sector, which includes public education, increased by 900 jobs in April 2006 after losing 1,400 jobs in the prior two months. Since April 2005, this sector has gained 1,300 jobs.
Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector recorded an increase of 900 jobs in April 2006. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 382,300 employees. Since April 2005, the number of jobs in this sector has jumped by 4,300.
The construction sector added 600 jobs in April 2006. Since April 2005, employment in this sector has risen by 2,500. Most of the hires have been in specialty trades, such as contractors involved in pouring concrete, site preparation, plumbing, painting and electrical work, said Cracraft.
The professional and business services sector had 500 more jobs in April 2006 than in March 2006. This sector reported 3,300 more employees in April 2006 than in April 2005.
The professional and business services sector includes professional, scientific and technical services, and management of companies and administrative and support management, including temporary help agencies.
The educational and health services sector reported 500 more jobs in April 2006 than in March 2006. Since April 2005, the sector has shot up by 4,500 jobs. “Employment in this sector has shown growth during 12 of the past 13 months. About two-thirds of the new jobs since April 2005 have been in the health care industries,” Cracraft said.
The natural resources and mining sector recorded an increase in jobs of 200 in April 2006. Since April 2005, the sector has risen by 2,100 jobs. The majority of the employment growth in this sector since last April was in the coal mining industry, said Cracraft.
On the negative side, Kentucky’s manufacturing sector had 400 fewer jobs in April 2006 than in March 2006. Compared to April 2005, the sector had 2,800 fewer positions in April 2006.
“The manufacturing sector has lost 1,100 jobs over the past two months and has recorded job decreases in four of the first five months thus far in 2006. The current losses can be attributed to the apparel industry, which has been the primary reason for manufacturing job losses over the past 10 years,” said Cracraft.
The financial activities sector had 300 fewer jobs in April 2006 than in March 2006. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has gained 1,100 jobs over the past 12 months.
Employment in the other services sector, which includes such establishments as repair and maintenance places, personal and laundry services, religious organizations, and civic and professional organizations, fell by 200 jobs from March 2006 to April 2006. Over the past 12 months, the sector has fallen by 100 positions.
Kentucky’s information sector employment reported 100 fewer jobs in April 2006 than March 2006. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 300 more jobs compared to April 2005.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for April 2006 was 1,898,421 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is down 3,703 from the 1,902,124 employed in March 2006, but up 22,480 from the 1,875,941 employed in April 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for April 2006 was 123,592. This figure is up 1,607 from the 121,985 unemployed in March 2006, and up 6,465 from the 117,127 Kentuckians unemployed in April 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for April 2006 was 2,022,013. This figure is down 2,096 from the 2,024,109 recorded in March 2006, but up 28,945 from the 1,993,068 recorded for April 2005.
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.
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.
Learn more about the Office of Employment and Training at www.workforce.ky.gov.