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State Releases County Unemployment Data For August 2017

Unemployment rates fell in 32 Kentucky counties, stayed the same in three and rose in 85 counties between August 2016 and August 2017, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Shelby County, 3.8 percent; Campbell, Fayette, Monroe, Oldham and Scott counties, 3.9 percent each; Jessamine County, 4 percent; and Boone, Kenton and Spencer counties, 4.1 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.4 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 12.7 percent; Elliott County, 10.7 percent, Carter and Harlan counties, 10.5 percent each; Letcher County, 9.7 percent; Breathitt County, 9.3 percent; Lewis County, 9.2 percent; Owsley County, 9.1 percent; and Jackson County 9 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 5.2 percent for August 2017, and 4.5 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. 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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