Kentucky's unemployment rate falls to 8.2 percent

December 19, 2012 

Kentucky's unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent in November, from 8.4 percent in October, the state announced Wednesday.

The preliminary November rate was 0.9 percentage points below the 9.1 percent rate recorded for the state in November 2011.

The state continues to lag the national rate, which fell to 7.7 percent in November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working.

In November 2012, Kentucky's civilian labor force was 2,085,424, an increase of 1,423 people compared with the previous month, and employment also grew with the addition of 5,814 jobs.

"For the first 11 months of 2012, the unemployment rate in Kentucky has averaged 8.4 percent, or 1.2 percentage points below the same period last year," said economist Manoj Shanker of the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. "We are now adding jobs at the same pace as the pre-recession period."

Kentucky's trade, transportation and utilities sector rebounded in November with 4,000 more jobs than in October. It's the largest sector in Kentucky, with 379,000 positions, and it accounts for about 20 percent of non-farm employment. Since November 2011, jobs in that sector have increased by 12,400, or 3.4 percent.

The leisure and hospitality sector grew by 1,800 jobs in November 2012. Since November 2011, the sector has expanded by 9,900 positions. That sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.

The construction sector posted an increase of 900 positions in November from a month ago. Since November 2011, employment in construction has fallen by 800 positions, or 1.2 percent.

"This year, the mild spring spurred construction activity in the early part of the year," Shanker said. "After that, for eight successive months, employment has declined in the construction sector compared to the same period a year ago. In spite of low mortgage rates, the housing overhang hasn't cleared and is still dampening employment."

Other sectors with rising employment were other services, including repair companies and religious organizations (300), educational and health services (200), and mining and logging (200).

The professional and business services sector remained steady.

Sectors losing jobs were financial activities (500), information (500), government (500), and manufacturing (2,100).

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