Ky. jobless rate for August held steady at 9.5 percent

4th straight month below 10 percent

ssloan@herald-leader.comSeptember 16, 2011 

For the fourth consecutive month, Kentucky's unemployment rate remained less than 10 percent, although it stopped declining. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 9.5 percent in August compared to July.

The state lost jobs during the month, but a smaller civilian labor force "counterbalanced the job losses, causing the unemployment rate to hold steady," said Justine Detzel, chief labor market analyst for the Office of Employment and Training.

The state continued to lag the national rate, which was 9.1 percent in August.

In August, the state lost 3,700 non-farm jobs across seven of the 11 major economic sectors.

The most job losses came in the leisure and hospitality sector, which shed 2,500 jobs in August.

The loss "reflects the closings of various restaurants," Detzel said in a statement.

The professional and business services sector declined by 2,100 positions during the month, and manufacturing employment fell by 1,300 jobs.

It was the first decline in manufacturing employment since May, and Detzel attributed it to the closing of a conveyor manufacturer. The state does not identify businesses in releasing unemployment data.

Other sectors seeing employment declines were government (700); financial activities (700); trade, transportation and utilities (400); and information (200).

The highest growth came in the construction sector, which added 2,300 jobs.

The educational and health services sector added 800 jobs, attributed primarily to health care firms hiring, Detzel said.

Employment in the other services sector, which includes religious organization and repair businesses, added 700 jobs, while mining and logging employment rose by 400 positions.

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

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