Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent from September to October, its lowest level of the year, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. Last October, the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 6 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased to 5.5 percent in October from 5.4 percent in September, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Kentucky’s October 2004 unemployment rate is 1.3 percent below where it was this time last year. We have seen a steady decline in the rate all year and now we have remained below the 5 percent level for the second straight month. We haven’t had unemployment rate figures this low since early in 2001,” 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 October, while three decreased, Cracraft said. A monthly survey of business establishments revealed that Kentucky’s nonfarm employment rose by 6,100 on a seasonally adjusted basis to October’s 1,798,100 employees. Since October 2003, nonfarm employment has gone up 12,900.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector expanded by 2,600 jobs in October 2004. Since October 2003, the sector’s employment has grown by 9,200 employees. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries.
The educational and health services sector reported 1,500 more jobs in October 2004 than in September 2004. Since October 2003, the sector has added 3,200 jobs.
In the state’s trade, transportation and utilities sector, employment went up by 1,000 jobs in October 2004. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 373,000 employees. Since October 2003, the number of jobs in this sector has increased by 400 employees.
Kentucky’s construction sector reported 900 more jobs in October 2004 than in September 2004. Since October 2003, employment in this sector has skyrocketed with a 5,100 increase in employees.
The professional and business services sector employment went up by 800 employees from September 2004 to October 2004. This sector recorded 100 more employees in October 2004 than in October 2003.
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, jumped by 400 jobs in October. Over the past 12 months, the sector has added 1,200 employees.
The financial activities sector added 100 jobs in October. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has increased by 1,400 jobs over the past 12 months.
On the negative side, the government sector, which includes public education, fell by 500 jobs in October. Since October 2003, this sector has dropped by 5,000 jobs.
The state’s manufacturing sector decreased by 300 jobs in October. Compared to October 2003, the sector had 2,900 fewer employees in October 2003.
Information sector employment went down by 100 jobs in October 2004. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 100 fewer jobs since October 2003.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for October 2004 was 1,885,283 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is down 1,320 from the 1,886,603 employed in September 2004, but up 42,106 from the 1,843,177 employed in October 2003.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for October 2004 was 93,921. This figure is up 1,226 from the 92,695 unemployed in September 2004, but down 23,819 from the 117,740 Kentuckians unemployed in October 2003.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for October 2004 was 1,979,204. This figure is down 94 from the 1,979,298 recorded in September 2004, but up 18,287 from the 1,960,917 recorded for October 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.