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July 2017 unemployment report released

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2017) — Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary July unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for July 2017 was up 0.2 percentage points from the 5.1 percent reported in June 2017.

The preliminary July 2017 jobless rate was up 0.3 percentage points from the 5 percent rate recorded for the state in July 2016.

“The 7,700 non-farm jobs that were added are very encouraging, especially considering the slow growth that occurred during the second quarter of 2017,” said University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research Director Chris Bollinger. “The household survey may suggest that Kentucky’s economy slowed somewhat this month but with a 5.3 percent unemployment rate, the state’s economy is still healthy.”

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for July 2017 was 4.3 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  The U.S. unemployment rate for July was down 0.1 percentage points from the 4.4 percent reported in June 2017.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.

In July 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,067,399, a decrease of 10,219 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was down by 13,898 while the number of unemployed increased by 3,679.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary 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.

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 7,700 jobs in July 2017 compared to June 2017. Kentucky has added 23,300 jobs since July 2016, a 1.2 percent employment growth.

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, eight of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors experienced employment growth from the previous month. Two sectors declined from the previous month and one was unchanged.

Kentucky’s manufacturing industry experienced the largest employment gains, adding 3,000 from June 2017 to July 2017. This represents an increase of 1.2 percent from June 2017. Durable goods manufacturing accounted for 2,600 of the additional jobs in manufacturing this month. While non-durable goods accounted for 400 of the additional jobs.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector added 2,300 jobs from June 2017 to July 2017. This represents an increase of 0.6 percent since June 2017 and 1.5 percent since July 2016. Since July 2016, this sector is up by 5,900 jobs or 1.5 percent.

The government sector increased by 1,700 jobs, or 0.5 percent, from June 2017 to July 2017. Local government employment increased by 2,500 jobs in July 2017. Federal employment decreased by 100 jobs and state employment decreased by 700 jobs in July 2017. Since July 2016, government employment is down by 600.

Construction employment increased by 500 jobs from June 2017 to July 2017. Since July 2016, construction employment is up 2,900 jobs or 3.8 percent.

Professional and business services rose by 400 jobs, a 0.2 percent increase in July 2017. This sector has added 8,200 jobs since July 2016, a 3.8 percent growth. This sector includes professional, scientific and technical services, which added 200 from June 2017 to July 2017 and 6,100 jobs since July 2016. This sector also includes management services and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.

“Professional and business services has grown considerably since 2010 and now accounts for nearly 12 percent of Kentucky’s non-farm employment,” said Bollinger. “This is a positive sign for the state as these jobs generally pay above average wages.”

The information services sector added 200 jobs from June 2017 to July 2017. This sector has grown by 5.7 percent since July 2016, with 1,300 more positions. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

The financial activities sector gained 100 jobs in July 2017. Since July 2016, this sector has jumped by 1,900 jobs or 2 percent.

Leisure and hospitality added 100 jobs in July 2017. Within this sector, accommodation and food services gained 600 jobs. However, this was largely offset by a decrease of 500 jobs in arts, entertainment and recreation.

Employment in the mining and logging sector was unchanged in July 2017. This sector has declined by 400 positions or 4 percent since July last year.

Other services sector lost 300 jobs in July 2017, but is up 1,900 since July 2016. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

The education and health services sector decreased by 300 jobs in July 2017. Within this sector, employment in educational services increased by 300 jobs from June 2017 to July 2017. Health care and social assistance employment dropped by 600 jobs.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. 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. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Learn more about the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics at https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI/Index/.  

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