Unemployment rates rise in Tri-County

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Tri-County continues to see unemployment rates rise as does 111 other Kentucky counties between December 2019 and December 2020, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Knox County has the highest unemployment rate in the Tri-County standing at 7.5%. That is up from 6.8% in November and almost 2% more than December 2019 when it was 5.7%.

In Whitley County unemployment went up to 6.5% from 5.9% in November. In December 2019 it was 4.9%.

Laurel County unemployment rose to 5.8% in December from 5.1% in November. Compared to December 2019, unemployment went up over a full percent. It was at 4.4% in December 2019.

Oldham County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.9 percent. It was followed by Todd County, 4 percent; Logan County, 4.1 percent; Cumberland, Spencer, Washington and Woodford counties, 4.2 percent each; Shelby County, 4.3 percent; and Green and Monroe counties, 4.4 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 14.8 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 11.3 percent; Leslie County, 9.9 percent; Carter County, 9.5 percent; Letcher County, 9.1 percent; Elliott, Johnson, Martin and Menifee counties, 9 percent each; and Lewis County, 8.8 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 5.7 percent for December 2020, and 6.5 percent for the nation.

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.

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