Kentucky’s jobless rate down in August
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 6.3 percent in July 2006 to 5.8 percent in August 2006, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. August’s jobless rate also was below August 2005’s rate of 6.2 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate decreased from 4.8 percent in July 2006 to 4.7 percent in August 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Kentucky’s unemployment rate in August declined by .5 percentage point, the same amount as it went up in July. Even though the state rate has fluctuated over the past four months, it still has been below 6 percent three of the past four months,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department’s chief labor market analyst. “Kentucky was one of 27 states that had a lower unemployment rate in August 2006 than in July 2006.”
Six of the 11 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors had employment increases in August, while four decreased, and one remained the same, Cracraft said. The increase of 8,800 jobs brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,852,700 in August 2006.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s manufacturing sector recorded 5,300 more jobs in August 2006 than in July 2006. Compared to August 2005, the sector had 1,700 fewer positions in August 2006 than in August 2005, said Cracraft.
“This gain of 5,300 jobs in August nearly offset the loss of 5,600 jobs in July that were most likely caused by manufacturing facilities shutting down for a week or two for employee vacations or to upgrade, retool or make yearly product changes. This type of movement in July and August in the manufacturing sector has happened the last three years,” Cracraft said.
In the government sector, which includes public education, employment rose by 3,000 jobs in August 2006. Since August 2005, this sector has gained 1,700 jobs.
The state’s professional and business services sector employment showed 1,500 more jobs in August 2006. This sector had 3,300 more employees in August 2006 than in August 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 financial activities sector had 500 more jobs in August 2006 than in August 2005. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has gained 900 jobs over the past 12 months.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector rose by 400 jobs in August 2006. Since August 2005, the sector’s employment has jumped by 5,100 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
The natural resources and mining sector had a 200-job increase in August 2006. Since August 2005, the sector has risen by 1,500 jobs, mainly in the coal mining industry. “Employment in this sector has grown by 4,000 jobs over the past two-and-a-half years after many years of a gradual decline in the number of jobs,” Cracraft said.
Kentucky’s information sector employment reported the same employment level from July 2006 to August 2006. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 100 fewer jobs in August 2006 than August 2005.
On the negative side, Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector recorded a decrease of 1,400 jobs in August 2006. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 381,800 employees. Since August 2005, the number of jobs in this sector has jumped by 3,800.
The construction sector fell by 400 jobs in August 2006. Since August 2005, employment in this sector has added 1,800 jobs. 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 educational and health services sector recorded 200 fewer jobs in August 2006 than in July 2006. Since August 2005, the sector has expanded by 5,400 jobs. This sector includes private and nonprofit establishments that provide either education and training, or health care and social assistance to their clients, Cracraft said.
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, declined by 100 jobs from July 2006 to August 2006. Over-the-year, this sector had 100 fewer employees in August 2006 than in August 2005.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for August 2006 was 1,908,867 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is up 10,702 from the 1,898,165 employed in July 2006, and up 28,361 from the 1,880,506 employed in August 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for August 2006 was 117,134. This figure is down 9,488 from the 126,622 unemployed in July 2006, and down 6,806 from the 123,940 Kentuckians unemployed in August 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for August 2006 was 2,026,001. This figure is up 1,214 from the 2,024,787 recorded in July 2006, and up 21,555 from the 2,004,446 recorded for August 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.