Kentucky's unemployment rate rose to 10.4 percent in January from 10.3 percent in December. The slight increase illustrated the complicated nature of unemployment rates.
While the state added 4,000 jobs in January, the unemployment rate rose because more out-of-work people began to look for employment. That increased the rate, which only counts the unemployed who have looked for work during the past four weeks.
The growth in jobs turned around two consecutive months of job losses.
The January jobless rate is down from 11 percent in January 2010. Since February 2009, the rate has been below 10 percent just once, in July 2010. The state's unemployment rate in January continued to outpace the national rate of 9 percent, which declined from 9.4 percent in December.
For the month, Kentucky's job growth came in six of the 11 major industries.
The largest employment increase was in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which added 2,000 jobs. The educational and health services sector followed with 1,500 workers added.
"General population growth, longer life expectancy and aging baby boomers help explain the continued expansion of health care employment," said Justine Detzel, chief labor market analyst for the state Office of Employment and Training.
The state's professional and business services sector added 1,200 jobs, primarily at call centers, billing firms and customer support centers, Detzel said in a statement.
Other sectors seeing growth included leisure and hospitality (800), financial activities (600) and construction (400).
The largest job losses came in the manufacturing sector, which shed 900 jobs because of factories closing, Detzel said. The state does not identify individual businesses in releasing unemployment data.
Other sectors seeing declines were government (700), other services (700), information (100) and mining and logging (100).