State releases county unemployment data for December 2021

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

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2022) – Unemployment rates fell in 119 counties between December 2020 and December 2021 and remained at 8% in Breathitt County, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.            

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the commonwealth at 2.3%. It was followed by Oldham County 2.4%; Scott County, 2.5%; Boone and Fayette counties, 2.6%; and Harrison, Jessamine, Logan, Taylor and Todd counties, 2.7% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 10.3%. It was followed by Breathitt County, 8%; Elliott County, 7.8%; Martin County, 7%; Carter County, 6.7%; Harlan County, 6.5%; Lewis County, 6.2%; Leslie County, 6%; Floyd County, 5.9%; and Letcher County, 5.8%.

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 3.4% for December 2021, and 3.7% for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted December 2021 unemployment rate was released on Jan. 20, 2022, 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.                   

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