Kentucky’s unemployment rate up in November
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 5.2 percent in October 2006 to 5.5 percent in November 2006, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. November 2006’s jobless rate was below November 2005’s rate of 6.4 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased from 4.4 percent in October 2006 to 4.5 percent in November 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Although Kentucky’s unemployment rate went up in November, it has remained below 6 percent in six of the past seven months. Kentucky was one of 37 states that had a lower unemployment rate in November 2006 than a year ago in November,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department’s chief labor market analyst. “Kentucky was one of 21 states plus the District of Columbia that reported unemployment rates above the U.S. average of 4.5 percent in November 2006.”
Five of the 11 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors reported employment increases in November, while five decreased, and one remained the same, according to Cracraft. The decrease of 300 jobs brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of more than 1.8 million last month.
“Kentucky’s nonfarm employment has increased in 12 of the past 16 months, and has risen by 10,600 since November 2005. Altogether, 49 states and the District of Columbia recorded over-the-year nonfarm payroll employment increases in November 2006, with Michigan as the only exception,” Cracraft said.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s manufacturing sector recorded 500 more jobs in November 2006 than in October 2006. Compared to November 2005, the sector had 7,300 fewer positions in November 2006.
“The manufacturing sector rebounded somewhat in November but this is only the fourth month this year that we have seen employment gains in this segment,” Cracraft said.
Employment in the professional and business services sector rose by 400 jobs in November 2006. This area had 2,800 more employees in November 2006 than in November 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 increased by 100 jobs last month. Since last November, this segment has expanded 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, Cracraft said.
“The educational and health services sector has added employment in eight of the 11 months in 2006 so far. Approximately two-thirds of those 4,800 new jobs over the year have been in the health care industries,” Cracraft said.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector went up by 100 jobs in November 2006. Since November 2005, the sector’s employment has increased by 4,200 positions. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
“Overall, employment increases have been recorded during seven months of this year in the leisure and hospitality sector. The strongest growth has been in the food services and drinking places industries,” 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, increased by 100 jobs in November 2006. This area had 1,000 fewer employees in November 2006 than in November 2005.
The information sector recorded the same employment in October 2006 and November 2006. This segment, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 100 fewer jobs in November 2006 than November 2005.
On the negative side, the government sector, which includes public education, fell by 700 jobs in November 2006. Since November 2005, this sector has gained 2,200 jobs.
The financial activities sector had 400 fewer jobs in November 2006 than in October 2006. This segment, which includes businesses involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has gained 500 jobs over the past 12 months.
Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector recorded a decrease of 200 jobs in November 2006. This area includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 381,700 employees. Since November 2005, the number of jobs in this sector has increased by 1,800.
The natural resources and mining sector had 100 fewer jobs in November 2006 compared to October 2006. Since November 2005, the segment has risen by 1,200 jobs, mainly in the coal mining industry.
Kentucky’s construction sector lost 100 jobs in November 2006. Since November 2005, employment in this job area has added 1,500 jobs. Most of the hires have been in specialty trades, such as contractors involved in pouring concrete, site preparation, plumbing, painting and electrical work, Cracraft said.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for November 2006 was 1,944,878 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is up 6,347 from the 1,938,531 employed in October 2006, and up 61,876 from the 1,883,002 employed in November 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for November 2006 was 112,646. This figure is up 6,711 from the 105,935 unemployed in October 2006, but down 15,890 from the 128,536 Kentuckians unemployed in November 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for November 2006 was 2,057,524. This figure is up 13,058 from the 2,044,466 recorded in October 2006, and up 45,986 from the 2,011,538 recorded for November 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.