Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet releases July 2018 unemployment report

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 16, 2018) – Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary July 2018 unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for July 2018 was up from the 4.2 percent reported for June 2018.

The preliminary July 2018 jobless rate was down 0.7 percentage points from the 5 percent recorded for the state in July 2017.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for July 2018 was 3.9 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from the 4 percent reported for June 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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

In July 2018, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,068,910, an increase of 5,384 individuals compared to the previous month. The number of people employed was up by 2,625, while the number unemployed increased by 2,759.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate increased the past three months from 4 percent in April to 4.3 percent in July,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Associate Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “The number of people working actually increased in each of these months. However, the number of people unemployed grew at a faster rate—leading to a higher unemployment rate.”

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 increased by 6,300 jobs in July 2018 compared to June 2018. Kentucky has added 16,000 jobs since July 2017, a 0.8 percent employment growth.

“Kentucky employment showed strong growth in July with gains in manufacturing and trade, transportation and utilities,” said Clark. “Also, the preliminary estimates from the establishment survey for June that appeared to show that Kentucky’s employment had decreased have been revised. The revised estimates indicate that the state’s employment was essentially unchanged from May to June.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, seven of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors experienced employment growth from the previous month while two decreased and two were unchanged.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector added 3,000 jobs from June 2018 to July 2018, an increase of 1.2 percent. The gains occurred within durable goods manufacturing. Employment in nondurable goods manufacturing was unchanged in July. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was up 3,100 since July 2017.

“Kentucky’s manufacturers added 2,000 jobs in June and 3,000 jobs in July, making up loses from earlier in the year,” said Clark.

Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities rose by 2,200 jobs in July 2018. From June 2018 to July 2018, wholesale trade lost 400 positions; retail trade gained 1,900 positions; and transportation, warehousing and utilities gained 700 positions. This sector jumped by 13,200 positions or 3.3 percent from July 2017 to July 2018.

The professional and business services sector increased by 1,400 positions from June 2018 to July 2018 and 1,300 jobs since July 2017. The administrative and support and waste management subsector added 1,000 jobs from June to July. Employment in professional, scientific and technical services was up 500 jobs in July, while management of companies fell by 100 jobs in July.

The financial activities sector added 800 jobs from June 2018 to July 2018, a increase of 0.9 percent. This sector has gained 1,600 jobs since last July. Within the sector, the finance and insurance subsector increased by 700 jobs and the real estate, rental and leasing subsector added 100 jobs in July 2018.

The government sector rose by 600 jobs in July 2018. Within this sector, federal employment increased by 100 jobs; state government employment decreased by 200 positions; and local government employment went up by 700 jobs. Since July 2017, government employment has dropped by 1,400 jobs or 0.4 percent.

Construction employment added 100 positions from June 2018 to July 2018, a gain of 0.1 percent. Over the past 12 months, construction employment was down by 800 positions or 1 percent.

Employment in Kentucky’s mining and logging sector gained 100 jobs from June 2018 to July 2018. Employment in this sector is up 200 positions since July 2017.

The education and health services sector dropped by 1,800 jobs in July 2018. Within this sector, employment in educational services did not change and health care and social assistance fell by 1,800 jobs. Employment in education and health services for July 2018 was down 1,500 since July 2017.

Kentucky’s information services sector decreased by 100 jobs in July 2018. This sector has declined by 400 jobs or 1.8 percent since July 2017. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Employment in the other services sector did not change from June 2018 to July 2018. Other services has added 1,400 jobs from a year ago. This represents a growth rate of 2.1 percent from July 2017 to July 2018. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

The leisure and hospitality sector was unchanged from June 2018 to July 2018. Both the accommodations and food service subsector and the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector were also unchanged in July. Since July 2017, leisure and hospitality has lost 700 positions or 0.4 percent.

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, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

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