Kentucky's unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent in March, down from 10.4 percent a month earlier.
The state added 11,600 jobs in the month, as "Kentucky's economy showed signs of improvement," said Justine Detzel, chief labor market analyst for the state Office of Employment and Training.
The state's unemployment rate in March continued to outpace the national rate of 8.8 percent, which declined from 8.9 percent in February. Since February 2009, Kentucky's jobless rate has been below 10 percent just once, in July 2010.
For the month, Kentucky's job gains came in seven of the 11 major industries.
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Leading the gains was the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 5,100 jobs. Part of the gains were attributed to the opening of a hotel, as well as "countless restaurants," Detzel said in a statement. The state does not identify individual businesses in releasing unemployment data.
The state's trade, transportation and utilities sector added 2,100 jobs in March. It was followed by the construction sector, which grew by 1,900 positions. "This marks the third consecutive month of rising employment in the construction sector," Detzel said. "As the economy recovers, businesses are expanding, and entrepreneurs are building facilities to house new companies."
Additional sectors reporting employment growth were other services (1,600), government (1,000), educational and health services (900), and mining and logging (800).
The largest drop came in the professional and business services sector, which shed 1,300 jobs. The manufacturing sector decreased by 300 jobs, while the financial activities sector declined by 200 jobs.
Employment in the information sector was steady.