Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate rose from 5.3 percent in March 2005 to 5.6 percent in April 2005, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. The April 2005 rate was above April 2004’s jobless rate of 5.5 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 5.2 percent from March to April 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“April 2005 marked the third month in a row that both employment and the unemployment rose. As the job market improves, it is not unusual for the unemployment rate to increase as more people enter the labor force looking for work. What we’re seeing is an increase in both new entrants and reentrants because the job prospects are looking up. While 8,000 Kentuckians found nonfarm jobs in April, there were other job seekers who were not successful in their search because they either could not find a job that fit their skills, qualifications or location they wanted or there were more people looking than jobs available,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department's chief labor market analyst.
“Kentucky’s jobless rate of 5.6 percent ranked as the 11th highest among all states in April with one other state having the same unemployment rate as Kentucky’s,” he said. “April marked the fourth consecutive month that Kentucky’s unemployment rate has increased. The good news is that Kentucky along with all other states except four recorded job growth during April so the upswing in jobs is happening nationally.”
Eight of the 10 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors had employment increases in April, while one decreased and one stayed the same, Cracraft said. A monthly survey of business establishments revealed that Kentucky’s nonfarm employment jumped by 8,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis to 1,815,100 in April. Since April 2004, nonfarm employment has gone up 18,700.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s professional and business services sector employment reported the largest employment increase with 2,300 employees from March 2005 to April 2005. This sector recorded 6,700 more employees in April 2005 than April 2004.
“The professional and business services sector has added employment in 10 of the last 11 months. It’s over-the-year growth has been particularly strong in those agencies which supply temporary help in a wide variety of industries,” Cracraft said.
The state’s manufacturing sector jumped by 1,700 jobs in April. Compared to April 2004, the sector had 2,600 more employees in April 2005.
“The manufacturing sector has added employment in three of the past four months. Over-the-year gains have been particularly strong in wood products manufacturing and motor vehicle parts manufacturing,” Cracraft said.
The state’s leisure and hospitality sector rose by 1,400 jobs in April 2005. Since April 2004, the sector’s employment has gone up by 5,900 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
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 800 jobs from March 2005 to April 2005. Over the past 12 months, the sector has added 1,000 positions.
The construction sector gained 500 jobs in April 2005. Since April 2004, employment in this sector has risen by 3,700. “Many of the hires in the construction sector were in specialty trade contractors such as those involved in pouring concrete, site preparation, plumbing, painting and electrical work,” said Cracraft.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector recorded 500 more workers in April. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 373,100 employees. Since April 2004, the number of jobs in this sector has increased by 500.
The educational and health services sector reported 200 more jobs in April 2005 than in March 2005. Since April 2004, the sector has added 2,300 jobs.
Kentucky’s information sector employment went up by 100 jobs from March 2005 to April 2005. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 700 fewer jobs since April 2004.
The government sector, which includes public education, remained at 309,000 jobs from March 2005 to April 2005. Since April 2004, this sector has dropped by 1,200 jobs.
On the negative side, the financial activities sector lost 100 jobs in April 2005. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has decreased by 2,700 jobs over the past 12 months.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for April 2005 was 1,882,717 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is up 4,409 from the 1,878,308 employed in March 2005, and up 14,410 from the 1,868,307 employed in April 2004.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for April 2005 was 110,719. This figure is up 5,768 from the 104,951 unemployed in March 2005, and up 1,088 from the 109,631 Kentuckians unemployed in April 2004.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for April 2005 was 1,993,436. This figure is up 10,177 from the 1,983,259 recorded in March 2005, and up 15,498 from the 1,977,938 recorded for April 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.