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Unemployment rates rise in 119 Kentucky counties; Boone remains among those with lowest jobless rate


Unemployment rates rose in 119 counties between September 2022 and September 2023, and fell in Hancock County, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS).

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the commonwealth at 3.2%. It was followed by Carroll County, 3.3%; Fayette, Marion, Nelson, Oldham, Scott and Shelby counties, 3.4% each; and Anderson, Boone, Cumberland, Spencer and Washington counties, 3.5% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9%. It was followed by Martin County, 8.9%; Elliott County, 7.5%; Leslie and Owsley counties, 7.4% each; Breathitt County, 7.3%; Carter and Harlan counties, 6.9%; Letcher County, 6.7%; and Clay and Lewis counties, 6.6% 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 4.1% for September 2023, and 3.6% for the nation.

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.

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 kystats.ky.gov/.

Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet


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