Kentucky’s jobless rate goes down in January
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to a preliminary 6.3 percent in January 2006 from the revised December 2005 rate of 6.5 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. January’s rate was above January 2005’s rate of 5.4 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate decreased from 4.9 percent in December 2005 to 4.7 percent in January 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Kentucky was one of 15 states plus the District of Columbia that reported an unemployment rate above the U.S. jobless rate in January 2006,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department's chief labor market analyst.
“On a positive note, Kentucky was one of 48 states that recorded a lower unemployment rate in January 2006 than in December 2005. January marked the sixth consecutive month that Kentucky’s nonfarm payroll employment showed a gain (+1,900). Compared to January 2005, Kentucky’s nonfarm employment has grown by 27,500 making Kentucky one of 47 states and the District of Columbia that has seen over-the-year increases in nonfarm employment,” Cracraft said.
Five of the 11 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors had employment increases in January, while four decreased and two stayed the same, Cracraft said. The increase of 1,900 workers brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,837,900 in January 2006.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, the government sector, which includes public education, rose by 1,700 jobs December 2005 to January 2006. Since January 2005, this sector has gained 3,000 jobs. “The gain in employment in this sector is probably due to variances in the timing of the opening and closing of the school year from one school district to another often, which has a significant effect on monthly estimates,” Cracraft said.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector went up by 1,400 jobs from December 2005 to January 2006. Since January 2005, the sector’s employment has jumped by 5,200 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries. “One portion of this sector, the accommodation and food services and drinking places industries, is responsible for about 80 percent of the over-the-year job gain,” Cracraft said.
The financial activities sector increased by 1,300 jobs in January 2006. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has increased by 1,900 jobs over the past 12 months.
The state’s educational and health services sector reported 700 more jobs in January 2006 than in December 2005. Since January 2005, the sector has ballooned by 4,800 jobs. “This sector includes private and nonprofit establishments that provide either education and training or health care and social assistance to their clients. A majority of these 4,800 new jobs have been in the health care industries,” said Cracraft.
Kentucky’s construction sector added 200 jobs in January 2006. Since January 2005, employment in this sector has risen by 2,300. 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 natural resources and mining sector recorded the same number of jobs (22,500) for December 2005 and January 2006. Since January 2005, the sector has increased by 2,200 jobs. Approximately two-thirds of this over-the-year employment growth was in the coal mining industry, said Cracraft.
The state’s manufacturing sector had the same of number of jobs in December 2005 and January 2006. Compared to January 2005, the sector had 900 fewer employees in January 2006.
On the negative side, the professional and business services sector had 1,900 fewer jobs in January 2006 than December 2005. This sector reported 5,000 more employees in January 2006 than January 2005. “This sector includes professional, scientific and technical services, and management of companies and administrative and support management, including temporary help agencies,” 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, decreased by 900 jobs from December 2005 to January 2006. Over the past 12 months, the sector has lost 200 positions.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector recorded a drop of 300 jobs in January 2006. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 380,400 employees. Since January 2005, the number of jobs in this sector has jumped by 3,800.
Kentucky’s information sector employment fell by 300 jobs from December 2005 to January 2006. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, has 400 more jobs since January 2005.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for January 2006 was 1,887,568 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is up 4,224 from the 1,883,344 employed in December 2005, and up 15,657 from the 1,871,911 employed in January 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for January 2006 was 125,952. This figure is down 4,056 from the 130,008 unemployed in December 2005, but up 18,267 from the 107,685 Kentuckians unemployed in January 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for January 2006 was 2,013,520. This figure is up 168 from the 2,013,352 recorded in December 2005, and up 33,924 from the 1,979,596 recorded for January 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.