State releases county unemployment data for March 2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: Click here to go to the March 2021 Kentucky county unemployment rate charts.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 22, 2021) – Unemployment rates fell in 81 Kentucky counties between March 2020 and March 2021, rose in 31, and stayed the same in eight counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Oldham, Todd and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the Commonwealth at 3.8% each. They were followed by Logan, Shelby, Spencer and Washington counties, 3.9% each; and Green, Scott and Taylor counties, 4% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 13.6%. It was followed by Harlan County, 9.4%; Martin County, 9.3%; Breathitt County, 8.6%; Leslie County, 8.5%; Carter, Lewis and Menifee counties, 8.4%; Elliott County, 8.3%; and Johnson County, 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 5% for March 2021, and 6.2% for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted March 2021 unemployment rate was released on April 15, 2021, 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


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