Kentucky’s jobless rate goes up in September
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to a preliminary 5.7 percent in September 2005 from the August 2005 rate of 5.4 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. September’s rate was above September 2004’s rate of 4.9 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate went rose from 4.9 percent in August 2005 to 5.1 percent in September 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Kentucky was one of 31 states that reported higher unemployment rates in September 2005 as compared to September 2004.
“Kentucky was one of 21 states plus the District of Columbia that reported an unemployment rate above the U.S. jobless rate in September 2005,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department's chief labor market analyst.
“On a positive note, Kentucky showed an increase of 1,900 in nonfarm payroll employment making it the seventh month during 2005 that Kentucky has recorded a gain in nonfarm payroll employment according to the monthly survey of business establishments in the state.”
Three of the 10 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors had employment increases in September, while the remaining seven decreased, Cracraft said. The addition of 1,900 workers brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,823,000 in September 2005.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, the government sector, which includes public education, rebounded from a 5,100 drop in August 2005 by adding 4,400 jobs in September 2005. Since September 2004, this sector has gain of 2,100 jobs over the year.
“The gain in September most likely was only an adjustment to the August loss. Often making the seasonal adjustment skews the numbers somewhat in the state and local education portion of this sector for August and September. Variance in school districts in the timing of the opening and closing of the school year can have a significant effect on monthly employment estimates,” said Cracraft.
The educational and health services sector reported 200 more jobs in September 2005 than in August 2005. Since September 2004, the sector has jumped by 4,000 jobs. “A majority of the 4,000 new jobs in this sector over the year has been in the health care industries as health care employment continues to grow,” 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 from August 2005 to September 2005. Over the past 12 months, the sector has added 1,700 positions.
On the negative side of the ledger, Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector recorded 1,200 fewer workers in September 2005 than in August 2005. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 375,800 employees. Since September 2004, the number of jobs in this sector has jumped by 3,600.
“Most of the August to September loss in this sector appeared to be spread throughout the retail trade industries. The sector had been faring well this year with four of the previous five months reporting growth. A majority of the 3,600 over-the-year gain was in the transportation and warehousing industries. Trucking activity is being carefully monitored by economists seeking to determine what influence increased fuel costs are having on this industry,” Cracraft said.
Kentucky’s financial activities sector fell by 600 jobs in September 2005. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has decreased by 2,300 jobs over the past 12 months.
Kentucky’s information sector employment went down by 500 jobs from August 2005 to September 2005. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, has 1,200 fewer jobs since September 2004.
The state’s construction sector dropped by 400 jobs in September 2005. Since September 2004, employment in this sector has risen by 3,800.
Kentucky’s manufacturing sector lost 100 jobs in September 2005. Compared to September 2004, the sector had 1,200 more employees in September 2005.
The professional and business services sector reported 100 fewer jobs in September 2005 than in August 2005. This sector recorded 4,700 more employees in September 2005 than September 2004.
The state’s leisure and hospitality sector also fell by 100 jobs from August 2005 to September 2005. Since September 2004, the sector’s employment has gone up by 5,500 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
“The food services and drinking places industries are responsible for about 83 percent of the over-the-year jobs gain in this sector,” Cracraft said.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for September 2005 was 1,900,230 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is up 15,449 from the 1,884,781 employed in August 2005, and up 27,981 from the 1,872,249 employed in September 2004.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for September 2005 was 115,132. This figure is up 8,383 from the 106,749 unemployed in August 2005, and up 18,740 from the 96,392 Kentuckians unemployed in September 2004.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for September 2005 was 2,015,362. This figure is up 23,832 from the 1,991,530 recorded in August 2005, and up 46,721 from the 1,968,641 recorded for September 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.