Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet Releases August 2022 Unemployment Report

EDITOR’S NOTE: Links to the unemployment rate chart and the employment chart are below.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2022) —Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary August 2022 unemployment rate was 3.8%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet (KELC).

The preliminary August 2022 jobless rate was up 0.1 percentage points from July 2022 but was down 1.0 percentage points from the 4.8% recorded for the state one year ago.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for August 2022 was 3.7%, which was up 0.2 percentage points from July 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based upon estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. The survey is designed to measure trends in the number of people working and includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,062,856 in August 2022, a decrease of 767 individuals from July 2022. The number of people employed in August decreased by 1,796 to 1,984,692 while the number of unemployed increased by 1,029 to 78,164.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate moved up slightly in August as estimates suggest there were both fewer people in the labor force and more people unemployed,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “While August estimates differed somewhat from July, these differences were not statistically significant, which indicates that there has been little change.”

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment rose by 26,700 jobs in August 2022 compared to July 2022. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 58,400 jobs or 3.1% compared to August 2021.

“Employers reported strong growth in payroll for August with gains occurring in most major sectors,” said Clark. “Kentucky also hit an important milestone in August as total non-farm employment reached its pre-pandemic levels. While several sectors such as financial activities and professional and business services have recovered, others such as manufacturing and construction are still below pre-pandemic levels.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for eight of Kentucky’s major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in August 2022, decreased for one, and was unchanged for two.

Government sector employment was up 15,000 jobs from July 2022 to August 2022. Employment was down 100 jobs in the federal government; up 300 jobs in state government; and up 14,800 jobs in local government. Employment in the total government sector was down 1,900 positions or 0.6% compared to August 2021.

“Local government employment, which includes public schools, fell by 14,600 jobs from June to July and then rebounded by 14,800 from July to August,” said Clark. “Overall, the level of local government employment is only down somewhat, 700 jobs or 0.4%, from last year.”

Employment in Kentucky’s manufacturing sector jumped by 7,600 positions from July 2022 to August 2022, a gain of 3.2%. The jobs gains occurred primarily among the durable goods manufacturers, which was added 7,100 jobs to their payrolls in August. Employment among the non-durable goods manufacturers was up 500 jobs. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was up 5,300 positions or 2.2% since August 2021.

Construction employment increased by 1,900 jobs in August 2022 or 2.4% from July. The construction sector was up 1,500 positions or 1.9% from one year ago.

“Construction contractors have added workers over the past four months even as borrowing costs have increased,” said Clark.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector added 1,600 positions from July 2022 to August 2022. Employment increased by 1,100 jobs in the retail trade subsector; decreased by 100 jobs in the wholesale trade subsector; and increased by 600 jobs in the transportation, warehousing and utilities subsector. Since August 2021, employment in this sector has risen by 13,800 jobs or 3.4%.

Employment in Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector was up by 1,200 positions from July 2022 to August 2022, a gain of 0.6%. This sector had 18,000 more jobs or 9.8% compared to August 2021. Employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector fell by 500 jobs from July to August. The accommodations and food services subsector added 1,700 jobs in August.

Kentucky’s educational and health services sector gained 700 positions in August 2022. Employment in the educational services subsector, which consists of private educational institutions, fell by 100 jobs from July to August. The health care and social assistance subsector added 800 jobs in August. Since last August, this sector has grown by 9,400 jobs or 3.3%.

Employment in the other services sector was up 500 jobs in August 2022. This sector had 100 fewer positions compared to August 2021. This sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

The information services sector rose by 200 jobs in August. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications. The number of jobs in this sector grew by 1,100 positions or 5.2% from one year ago.

Employment in the financial activities sector did not change from July 2022 to August 2022. The finance and insurance subsector was down 100 jobs from July to August. These losses were offset by a gain of 100 jobs in the real estate, rental and leasing subsector. The financial activities sector rose by 1,200 jobs compared to last August.

Kentucky’s mining and logging sector was unchanged in August, and unchanged from August 2021.

Employment in Kentucky’s professional and business services sector fell by 2,000 jobs or 0.9% in August 2022. The professional, scientific and technical services subsector had 200 fewer positions, while the administrative, support and waste management subsector lost 1,800 jobs, and the management of companies subsector was unchanged. Employment in this sector was up by 10,100 jobs or 4.6% since August 2021.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary 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, due to the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

To learn more about Kentucky labor market information, visit


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