Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate descended to 4.5 percent in November, the lowest jobless rate for Kentucky in four years, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. The November 2004 rate was below both the revised seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2004 of 4.8 percent and November 2003’s jobless rate jobless of 6 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate decreased to 5.4 percent in November from 5.5 percent in October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“The national unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in November 2004 is .9 percentage point above Kentucky’s preliminary November 2004 unemployment rate of 4.5 percent. We also are well below the 6 percent Kentucky recorded in November 2003. In addition, November was the sixth month in 2004 that Kentucky has seen an increase in nonfarm employment,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department's chief labor market analyst.
Seven of the 10 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors had employment increases in November, while three decreased, Cracraft said. A monthly survey of business establishments revealed that Kentucky’s nonfarm employment rose by 800 on a seasonally adjusted basis to November’s 1,800,600 employees. Since November 2003, nonfarm employment has gone up 14,200.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s government sector, which includes public education, rose by 900 jobs in November. Since November 2003, this sector has dropped by 2,300 jobs.
The educational and health services sector reported 400 more jobs in November 2004 than in October 2004. Since November 2003, the sector has added 2,900 jobs.
Kentucky’s construction sector reported 300 more jobs in November 2004 than in October 2004. Since November 2003, employment in this sector has shot up by 4,900.
“The construction sector has added employment for four consecutive months and eight of past nine months of 2004,” said Cracraft.
The professional and business services sector employment went up by 300 employees from October 2004 to November 2004. This sector recorded the same number of employees in November 2003 and November 2004.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector rose by 200 jobs in November 2004. Since November 2003, the sector’s employment has grown by 8,500 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
The financial activities sector added 100 jobs in November. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has increased by 1,100 jobs over the past 12 months.
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, also rose by 100 jobs in November. Over the past 12 months, the sector has added 1,400 employees.
On the negative side of the ledger, the state’s trade, transportation and utilities sector, employment fell by 700 jobs in November 2004. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 372,700 employees. Since November 2003, the number of jobs in this sector has increased by 1,100 employees.
The state’s manufacturing sector decreased by 500 jobs in November. Compared to November 2003, the sector had 3,000 fewer employees in November 2003.
“The manufacturing sector has fluctuated this year. For example, in August and September of this year, the sector added 4,600 jobs but then lost 800 in October and November,” said Cracraft.
Information sector employment went down by 300 jobs in November 2004. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 500 fewer jobs since November 2003.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for November 2004 was 1,891,174 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is up 5,276 from the 1,885,898 employed in October 2004, and up 46,061 from the 1,845,113 employed in November 2003.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for November 2004 was 88,448. This figure is down 6,228 from the 94,676 unemployed in October 2004, and down 29,767 from the 118,215 Kentuckians unemployed in November 2003.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for November 2004 was 1,979,622. This figure is down 952 from the 1,980,574 recorded in October 2004, but up 16,294 from the 1,963,328 recorded for November 2003.
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.