Kentucky’s jobless rate down in September
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell a half of a percentage point from 5.8 percent in August 2006 to 5.3 percent in September 2006, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. September’s jobless rate was more than a percentage point below September 2005’s rate of 6.4 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate decreased from 4.7 percent in August 2006 to 4.6 percent in September 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“In September, Kentucky recorded its lowest unemployment rate since December 2004 and the lowest this year. Since July, the jobless rate in Kentucky has fallen a percentage point from 6.3 percent in July 2006 to 5.3 percent in September 2006. While the Kentucky unemployment rate has fluctuated a lot of the over the last six months, it has been below the 6 percent mark four of the past five months,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department’s chief labor market analyst. “Kentucky was one of 31 states that had a lower unemployment rate in September 2006 than in August 2006.”
Five of the 11 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors had employment increases in September, while five decreased, and one remained the same, Cracraft said. The decrease of 100 jobs brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,850,600 in September 2006.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s professional and business services sector employment added 1,100 jobs in September 2006, the most of any sector. This sector had 3,000 more employees in September 2006 than in September 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.
“This 1,100-job gain in professional and business services in September follows a gain of 1,800 jobs in August 2006. This sector has experienced employment increases in five of the past seven months,” Cracraft said.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector rose by 900 jobs in September 2006. Since September 2005, the sector’s employment has jumped by 5,000 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
The construction sector gained 300 jobs in September 2006. Since September 2005, employment in this sector has added 2,200 jobs. 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 trade, transportation and utilities sector recorded an increase of 300 jobs in September 2006. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 382,300 employees. Since September 2005, the number of jobs in this sector has jumped by 4,100.
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, went up by 100 jobs from August 2006 to September 2006. Over-the-year, this sector had 200 fewer employees in September 2006 than in September 2005.
The natural resources and mining sector had the same number of jobs in August 2006 and September 2006. Since September 2005, the sector has risen by 1,300 jobs, mainly in the coal mining industry.
On the down side, employment in the government sector, which includes public education, fell by 2,100 jobs in September 2006. Since September 2005, this sector has gained 2,100 jobs.
“The difference in the opening of schools during the fall can cause significant employment swings in the government sector this time of the year. Often the numbers counterbalance the next month which is what happened in August when the employment level in the sector rose by 2,800 jobs and then fell in September,” Cracraft said.
Kentucky’s manufacturing sector recorded 200 fewer jobs in September 2006 than in August 2006. Compared to September 2005, the sector had 4,000 fewer positions in September 2006 than in September 2005.
The financial activities sector had 200 fewer jobs in September 2006 than in August 2006. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has gained 400 jobs over the past 12 months.
The educational and health services sector fell by 200 jobs in September 2006. Since September 2005, the sector 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.
Kentucky’s information sector employment reported a decrease of 100 jobs in September 2006. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 200 fewer jobs in September 2006 than September 2005.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for September 2006 was 1,927,922 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is up 19,055 from the 1,908,867 employed in August 2006, and up 46,608 from the 1,881,314 employed in September 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for September 2006 was 107,085. This figure is down 10,049 from the 117,134 unemployed in August 2006, and down 20,702 from the 127,787 Kentuckians unemployed in September 2005.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for September 2006 was 2,035,007. This figure is up 9,006 from the 2,026,001 recorded in August 2006, and up 25,906 from the 2,009,101 recorded for September 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.