• WRIL-FM

Unemployment rates drop for southeast Kentucky

From The News Journal -

June unemployment rates for Whitley and its surrounding counties in Kentucky have largely dropped back to near pre-COVID-19 levels, according to figures from the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.


Unemployment rates dropped in all 120 Kentucky counties between May 2020 and June 2020 with rates in Whitley County and surrounding counties dropping by 50 percent or more in most cases.


Also, unemployment rates fell in 82 Kentucky counties between June 2019 and June 2020 – including Whitley, Laurel, Knox, Bell and McCreary counties – rose in 33 and stayed the same in five counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics.


Whitley County’s unemployment rate decreased from 11.1 percent in May 2020 to 5.2 percent in June 2020. Whitley County’s June 2020 unemployment rate was 0.7 percent lower than the June 2019 unemployment rate.


“That’s wonderful news,” noted Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. “Last time we spoke about unemployment rates, we thought that people were wanting to get back to work and back to business. I think that rate shows it. The general underlying elements of the economy locally are still pretty strong. I think there is still a bright future here in Whitley County. We are just trying to get through this difficult time.”


During February 2020, which was the last full month before COVID-19 shutdowns started, Whitley County’s unemployment rate was 5.0 percent. During March 2020, which was the first month with partial shutdowns, Whitley County’s unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.


Laurel County’s unemployment rate decreased from 11.6 percent in May 2020 to 4.9 percent in June 2020. Laurel County’s June 2020 unemployment rate was 0.7 percent lower than the June 2019 unemployment rate. During February 2020, Laurel County’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, compared to 6.5 percent in March 2020.


Knox County’s unemployment decreased from 12.9 percent in May 2020 to 6.3 percent in June 2020. Knox County’s June 2020 unemployment rate was 0.6 percent lower than the June 2019 unemployment rate. Knox County’s February 2020 unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, and its March 2020 unemployment rate was 7.2 percent.


Bell County’s unemployment rate decreased from 9.9 percent in May 2020 to 5.7 percent in June 2020. Bell County’s June 2020 unemployment rate was 1.5 percent lower than the June 2019 unemployment rate. Bell County’s February 2020 unemployment rate was 7.1 percent, and the March 2020 unemployment rate was 8.8 percent.


McCreary County’s unemployment rate decreased from 10.4 in May 2020 to 5.2 percent in June 2020. McCreary County’s June 2020 unemployment rate was 1.6 percent lower than the June 2019 unemployment rate. McCreary County’s February 2020 unemployment rate was 6.6. percent, and its March 2020 unemployment rate was 8.6 percent.


Carlisle County recorded the lowest June 2020 jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3 percent. It was followed by Cumberland County, 3.1 percent; Monroe, Pendleton and Todd counties, 3.3 percent each; Lyon County, 3.4 percent; Woodford County, 3.5 percent; and Clinton, Crittenden, Hickman, Oldham and Washington counties, 3.6 percent each.


Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest June 2020 unemployment rate at 11.7 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 9 percent; Martin County, 8.2 percent; Leslie County, 7.7 percent; Breathitt and Letcher counties, 7.5 percent each; Elliott County, 7 percent; and Carter, Floyd and Perry counties, 6.9 percent each.


Kentucky’s county unemployment rates and employment levels listed here are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 4.8 percent for June 2020, and 11.2 percent for the nation.


Kentucky’s unemployment rate decreased from 10.7 percent in May 2020 to 4.8 percent in June 2020. Kentucky’s June 2020 unemployment rate was identical to the June 2019 rate.

Kentucky’s February 2020 unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, and its March 2020 unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.


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.

Whitley County has a civilian labor force of 12,962 people with 12,287 employed and 675 unemployed. Statewide, Kentucky has a civilian labor force of 1,950,426 people with 1,855,883 employed and 94,543 unemployed.

237 views