State releases county unemployment data for October 2021

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

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec 2, 2021) – Unemployment rates rose in seven Kentucky counties and fell in 113 counties between October 2020 and October 2021, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.  

Cumberland, Oldham and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the commonwealth at 2.7% each. They were followed by Shelby County 2.8%; and Boone, Green, Henry, Scott, Spencer, Taylor, and Todd counties, 3% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 10.2%. It was followed by Breathitt County, 8.8%; Martin County, 8.1%; Harlan County, 7.5%; Elliott and Leslie counties, 6.9% each; Letcher County, 6.8%; Floyd County, 6.5%; Johnson County, 6.3%; and Carter, Knott and Owsley counties, 6.2% each.

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 3.7% for October 2021, and 4.3% for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted October 2021 unemployment rate was released on Nov.18, 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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