Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate climbed from 4.7 percent in December 2004 to 4.9 percent in January 2005, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. The January 2005 rate was notably below January 2004’s jobless rate of 5.7 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted January jobless rate decreased from 5.4 percent in December 2004 to 5.2 percent in January 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“January 2005 marked nine consecutive months that Kentucky’s unemployment rate has been below the national unemployment rate. Also, January was the fifth straight month that Kentucky’s unemployment rate has been below the 5 percent level,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department's chief labor market analyst.
Five of the 10 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors had employment increases in January, while four decreased and one stayed the same, Cracraft said. A monthly survey of business establishments revealed that Kentucky’s nonfarm employment jumped by 3,600 on a seasonally adjusted basis to 1,806,300 in January. Since January 2004, nonfarm employment has gone up 16,100.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, the state’s trade, transportation and utilities sector, had the largest employment increase with 2,600 more workers in January. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 375,300 employees. Since January 2004, the number of jobs in this sector has increased by 4,000 employees.
“The majority of the over-the-year gain in the trade, transportation and utilities sector was in the transportation and warehousing industries,” said Cracraft. “Trucking activity is often considered a cyclical indicator because employment fluctuations reflect the demand for goods.”
Kentucky’s government sector, which includes public education, expanded by 1,400 workers in January. Since January 2004, this sector has dropped by 1,100 jobs.
The state’s manufacturing sector grew by 900 jobs in January. Compared to January 2004, the sector had 400 more employees in January 2005.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector also rose by 900 jobs in January 2005. Since January 2004, the sector’s employment has grown by 3,000 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
The construction sector gained 400 workers in January 2005. Since January 2004, employment in this sector has risen by 1,200.
Kentucky’s information sector employment remained unchanged from December 2004 to January 2005. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 800 fewer jobs since January 2004.
On the negative side of the ledger, professional and business services sector employment went down by 1,600 employees from December 2004 to January 2005. This sector recorded 6,700 more employees in January 2005 than January 2004.
“This sector’s gain of 6,700 since January 2004 has been particularly strong in the temporary help supply services, which are composed of agencies that supplies labor to a wide variety of industries, and its employment trend is often considered a leading indicator of payroll employment,” Cracraft said.
The financial activities sector lost 400 jobs in January 2005. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has decreased by 1,600 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, decreased by 400 jobs from December 2004 to January 2005. Over the past 12 months, the sector has added 600 employees.
The educational and health services sector reported 200 fewer jobs in January 2005 than in December 2004. Since January 2004, the sector has added 3,100 jobs.
“Approximately two-thirds of the 3,100 increase in the educational and health services sector has been in the health care industries,” said Cracraft.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for January 2005 was 1,875,064 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is down 719 from the 1,875,783 employed in December 2004, but up 9,342 from the 1,865,722 employed in January 2004.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for January 2005 was 97,380. This figure is up 5,502 from the 91,878 unemployed in December 2004, but down 14,937 from the 112,317 Kentuckians unemployed in January 2004.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for January 2005 was 1,972,444. This figure is up 4,783 from the 1,967,661 recorded in December 2004, but down 5,595 from the 1,978,039 recorded for January 2004.
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.