FRANKFORT, Ky. — Unemployment rates fell in 119 Kentucky counties and rose in one county (Carter County) between January 2017 and January 2018, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Woodford County, located between Frankfort and Lexington, recorded the lowest jobless rate in the commonwealth at 2.9 percent. It was followed by Fayette County, the county which includes Lexington, 3 percent; Oldham County, near Louisville, 3.1 percent; Marion (in central Kentucky) and Scott (near Lexington) counties, 3.2 percent each; Campbell (near Cincinnati) and Shelby (between Louisville and Lexington) counties, 3.3 percent each; and Allen (in south central Kentucky), Jessamine (near Lexington) and Monroe (in south central Kentucky) counties, 3.4 percent each.
Magoffin County, in eastern Kentucky, recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.2 percent. It was followed by Carter County (near Huntington, W.Va.), 13 percent; Elliott County (between Huntington and Lexington), 11.5 percent; Lewis County (between Portsmouth and Maysville, Ky.), 10.4 percent; Menifee County (in eastern Kentucky), 9.8 percent; Bath County (between Huntington and Lexington), 8.6 percent; Lawrence County (between Huntington and Lexington), 8.4 percent; Wolfe County (in eastern Kentucky), 8.1 percent; Greenup County (in northern Kentucky), 7.9 percent; and Morgan County (in eastern Kentucky), 7.7 percent.
Kentucky’s county unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. 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. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 4.3 percent for January 2018, and 4.5 percent for the nation.
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. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.