Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet releases April 2019 unemployment report

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary April 2019 unemployment rate was 4 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for April 2019 was unchanged from March 2019.

The preliminary April 2019 jobless rate was down 0.4 percentage points from the 4.4 percent recorded for the state in April 2018.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April 2019 was 3.6 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from its March 2019 level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. The survey is designed to measure trends in the number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

Kentucky civilian labor force increased by 426 individuals in April 2019, bringing the state’s labor force to 2,065,210. The number of people employed in April was up by 478, while the number unemployed decreased by 52.

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 4,000 jobs in April 2019 compared to March 2019. Kentucky has added 19,500 jobs since April 2018, a 1 percent employment growth.

“The household survey suggests that Kentucky’s employment situation was essentially unchanged in April,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Associate Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “While a relatively small number of people entered the labor force this month, a similar number of people were able to find work, resulting in no significant change to Kentucky’s unemployment rate. The survey of business indicates that Kentucky’s employers expanded their payrolls, adding 4,000 jobs.”

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

Employment in Kentucky’s professional and business services sector jumped by 1,900 jobs in April 2019 or 0.9 percent. This sector was down 400 jobs since April 2018. Administrative and support and waste management subsector gained the most jobs with 1,600 in April 2019.

“The jump in employment for professional and business services likely represents normal swings in employment for this sector,” said Clark.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector added 1,100 jobs in April 2019. Since April 2018, employment in this sector has expanded by 3,000 positions or 0.7 percent. Employment decreased by 300 jobs in wholesale trade, but retail trade added 1,200 jobs, and transportation, warehousing and utilities rose by 200 positions in April 2019.

Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector gained 700 jobs from March 2019 to April 2019, an increase of 0.4 percent. This sector is up 3,100 positions since April 2018. The accommodations and food services subsector added 1,300 jobs, while the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector lost 600 positions in April 2019.

Employment increased by 600 jobs in the other services sector from March 2019 to April 2019. The other services sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations. Employment in this sector is up by 1,400 positions since April 2018.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector gained 500 jobs or 0.2 percent from March 2019 to April 2019. Durable goods manufacturing added 600 jobs and non-durable manufacturing decreased by 100 jobs. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment is up by 3,800 jobs since April 2018.

Construction employment increased by 400 jobs in April or 0.5 percent. The construction sector is up 1,800 jobs during the past 12 months for a gain of 2.3 percent.

Employment in Kentucky’s educational and health services sector dropped by 400 jobs or 0.1 percent in April 2019. Employment was down by 300 positions in the health care and social assistance subsector and down 100 positions in the educational services subsector. Since last April, the sector has added 7,300 positions or 2.6 percent.

The government sector declined by 400 jobs in April 2019 compared to March 2019. The decrease occurred in the state government sector, which fell by 400 positions. Federal and local government employment was unchanged in April 2019. Total government employment has decreased by 1,100 jobs since April 2018.

The financial activities sector reported 300 fewer jobs in April 2019. The sector rose by 700 jobs or 0.8 percent compared to last April. The real estate, rental and leasing subsector added 100 positions, while the finance and insurance subsector lost 400 jobs.

Employment in information services was down by 100 jobs in April 2019. Employment in this sector has decreased by 300 jobs since April 2018. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Employment in Kentucky’s mining and logging sector was unchanged in April and was up by 200 positions from a year ago for a gain of 2 percent.

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.

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 Kentucky labor market information at http://kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI.

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