State releases county unemployment data for December 2019

Oldham County records lowest rate at 2.7 percent

EDITOR’S NOTE: A link to Kentucky county unemployment rate charts is below.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2020) – Unemployment rates rose in 56 Kentucky counties between December 2018 and December 2019, fell in 46 and stayed the same in 18 counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Oldham County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.7 percent each. It was followed by Fayette, Shelby, and Woodford counties at 2.9 percent each; Boone County, 3 percent; Campbell, Jessamine, Scott and Spencer counties, 3.1 percent each; and Franklin, Hancock, Kenton and Marion counties, 3.2 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 13.8 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 10.8 percent; Leslie County, 9.7 percent; Lewis County, 8.9 percent; Elliott County, 8.7 percent; Breathitt and Carter counties, 8.2 percent each; Letcher County, 8.1 percent; Wolfe County, 7.7 percent; and Lawrence County, 7.2 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 3.9 percent for December 2019, and 3.4 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was released on January 23, 2020, and can be viewed at In that release, Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are adjusted to observe statistical trends by removing seasonal influences such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. For more information regarding seasonal fluctuations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at

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.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at

Additional information is available on the Education & Workforce Development Cabinet website.

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