Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in September, it lowest rate of the year, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet. In August, the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 5.1 percent and for September 2003 it was 6.2 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 5.4 percent from August to September, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“September 2004 marked the first time since early in 2001 that Kentucky’s unemployment rate has dipped below the 5 percent level,” said Carlos Cracraft, the department's chief labor market analyst. “Also, Kentucky’s unemployment rate of 4.6 percent in September was notably below the 6.2 percent rate recorded in September 2003.”
Seven of the 10 major nonfarm job North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors had employment increases in September, while three decreased, Cracraft said. A monthly survey of business establishments revealed that Kentucky’s nonfarm employment rose by 2,700 on a seasonally adjusted basis to September’s 1,799,800 employees.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, Kentucky’s educational and health services sector reported 1,500 more jobs in September 2004 than in August 2004, the largest increase of any sector from August to September. Since September 2003, the sector has added 3,200 jobs.
The state’s manufacturing sector increased by 700 jobs in September. Compared to September 2003, the sector had 1,500 fewer employees in September 2003.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector went up by 600 jobs in September 2004. This sector includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and utilities businesses, and warehousing, and is the largest sector in Kentucky with 371,600 employees. Since September 2003, the number of jobs in this sector has dipped by 500 employees.
The government sector, which includes public education, increased by 600 jobs in September. Since September 2003, this sector has added 1,000 jobs.
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 500 jobs in September. Over the past 12 months, the sector has added 1,500 employees.
Kentucky’s construction sector reported 200 more jobs in September 2004 than in August 2004. Since September 2003, the sector has expanded by 5,300 employees.
The financial activities sector added 200 jobs in September. This sector, which includes establishments involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has increased by 500 jobs over the past 12 months.
On the negative side of the ledger, the state’s leisure and hospitality sector lost 700 jobs in September 2004. Since September 2003, the sector’s employment has grown by 7,700 employees.
“September’s decrease in this sector followed four consecutive months of employment gain. The sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services and drinking places industries. Most of the gain in this sector since September 2003 has been in the food services and drinking places industries,” Cracraft said.
The professional and business services sector employment went down by 700 employees from August 2004 to September 2004. This sector recorded 700 fewer employees in September 2004 than in September 2003.
Information sector employment fell by 100 jobs in September 2004. This sector, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities and broadcasting and news syndication, had 100 more jobs since September 2003.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for September 2004 was 1,889,500 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is up 8,877 from the 1,880,623 employed in August 2004, and up 48,788 from the 1,840,712 employed in September 2003.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for September 2004 was 91,637. This figure is down 10,279 from the 101,916 unemployed in August 2004, and down 30,407 from the 122,044 Kentuckians unemployed in September 2003.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for September 2004 was 1,981,137. This figure is down 1,402 from the 1,982,539 recorded in August 2004, but up 18,381 from the 1,962,756 recorded for September 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.