Annual unemployment rates decreased in 80 Kentucky counties in 2017 compared to 2016, rose in 24 and stayed the same in 16, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
The annual jobless rate for Woodford County was the lowest in the Commonwealth in 2017 at 3.3 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.5 percent; Fayette and Shelby counties, 3.6 percent each; Scott County, 3.7 percent; Campbell, Jessamine, Monroe and Spencer counties, 3.8 percent each; and Boone County, 3.9 percent.
Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest annual unemployment rate in 2017 at 15.7 percent. It was followed by Elliott County, 10.2 percent; Leslie County, 10.1 percent; Carter County, 9.6 percent; Harlan County, 9.4 percent; Letcher County, 9.2 percent; Wolfe County, 9 percent; Lawrence and Lewis counties, 8.9 percent each; and Menifee County, 8.7 percent. In 2017, three counties (Magoffin, Elliott and Leslie) had annual rates at or above 10 percent compared to 12 counties in 2016.
In contrast to the monthly data national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted.
In 2017, 73 counties were above the comparable, unadjusted annual state unemployment of 4.9 percent for the state, while 45 were below the state unadjusted rate and two (Grant and Mercer counties) were the same rate.
Compared to the national unadjusted 2017 annual rate of 4.4 percent, 91 Kentucky counties had higher 2017 annual rates, while 23 were lower and six (Calloway, Daviess, Hart, Jefferson, Logan and Nelson counties) matched it.
Counties with the largest decline in annual unemployment rates from 2016 to 2017 were Magoffin County, -3.4 percentage points; Leslie County, -3.2 percentage points; Pike County, -3 percentage points; and Floyd, Harlan, Knott and Martin counties, -2.9 percentage points each.
The counties that recorded the largest increases in annual unemployment rates from 2016 to 2017 were Hickman County, +1.4 percentage points; Carlisle and Jackson counties, +0.6 percentage points each; Bath County, +0.4 percentage points; and Fulton, Livingston, McCracken and McLean counties, +0.3 percentage points each.
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 statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted to allow for comparisons between United States, state and counties figures. The statistics in this news release may be revised in the future.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at https: //kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.