Kentucky’s jobless rate drops to 5.6 percent in May
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 6.1 percent in April 2006 to 5.6 percent in May 2006 making it the lowest rate recorded for the state since February 2005’s 5.6 percent rate, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. May’s preliminary jobless rate was below May 2005’s rate of 6 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell from 4.7 percent in April 2006 to 4.6 percent in May 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“The .5 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate from April 2006 to May 2006 was the second largest over-the-month drop in the nation for May. Kentucky’s unemployment rate has been in the 6 percent to 6.5 percent range for the past 12 months but the 5.6 percent rate in May 2006 was the lowest seen in the state in 15 months. Kentucky was one of 21 states that had a lower unemployment rate in May 2006 than in April 2006,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department's chief labor market analyst.
“Kentucky recorded a gain in nonfarm payroll employment of 2,300 in May 2006 and 22,400 since May 2005. Altogether, 48 states along with the District of Columbia showed 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 May, while six decreased, Cracraft said. The addition of 2,300 jobs brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,845,700 in May 2006.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s government sector, which includes public education, rose by 1,600 jobs in May 2006. Since May 2005, this sector has gained 2,100 jobs.
Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector recorded an increase of 1,300 jobs in May 2006. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 383,500 employees. Since May 2005, the number of jobs in this sector has soared by 5,200.
The educational and health services sector reported 1,000 more jobs in May 2006 than in April 2006. Since May 2005, the sector has shot up by 4,900 jobs.
The natural resources and mining sector had a 300-job increase in May 2006. Since May 2005, the sector has risen by 2,000 jobs. “Approximately two-thirds of the over-the-year employment growth in the natural resources and mining sector was in the coal mining industry. Employment in this sector has been on the rise for two years, adding some 3,600 jobs in that period, after many years of decline in the number of jobs,” said Cracraft.
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, rose by 100 jobs from April 2006 to May 2006. Over the past 12 months, the sector has fallen by 100 positions.
On the negative side, Kentucky’s manufacturing sector recorded 600 fewer jobs in May 2006 than in April 2006. Compared to May 2005, the sector had 2,900 fewer positions in May 2006 with about three-fourths of that decline in the apparel industry, said Cracraft.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector recorded 500 fewer jobs in May 2006 than in April 2006. However, since May 2005, the sector’s employment has jumped by 5,300 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
The construction sector declined by 300 jobs in May 2006. Since May 2005, employment in this sector has risen by 1,700. 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.
Kentucky’s information sector employment reported 200 fewer jobs in May 2006 than April 2006. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 100 fewer jobs compared to May 2005.
The financial activities sector had 200 fewer jobs in May 2006 than in April 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.
The professional and business services sector employment fell by 200 jobs from April 2006 to May 2006. This sector reported 3,200 more employees in May 2006 than in May 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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for May 2006 was 1,899,059 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is up 638 from the 1,898,421 employed in April 2006, and up 22,624 from the 1,876,435 employed in May 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for May 2006 was 113,062. This figure is down 10,530 from the 123,592 unemployed in April 2006, and down 6,561 from the 119,623 Kentuckians unemployed in May 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for May 2006 was 2,012,121. This figure is down 9,892 from the 2,022,013 recorded in April 2006, but up 16,063 from the 1,996,058 recorded for May 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.