Ky. unemployment rate steady at 11.1%

Kentucky's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 11.1 percent, a number unchanged from the previous month.

"The Kentucky economy showed some signs of stabilization," said Justine Detzel, the chief labor market analyst for the state Office of Employment and Training.

The average weekly hours of production workers and people in the temporary help industry saw an uptick, she said.

"However, the number of individuals facing long-term unemployment continued to surge, suggesting that economic pain from the recession is far from over," Detzel said.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose from 9.4 percent in July to 9.7 percent in August, the U.S. Labor Department reported.

Since records started being kept in 1976, Kentucky's highest unemployment rate was 12.1 percent, which was recorded in December 1982.

August's rate was 4.4 percentage points higher than the 6.7 percent rate in August 2008.

The statistics are based on estimates and are used to measure trends instead of the number of people who aren't working, the state said.

The number of jobs in the professional and business sectors jumped by 2,300 in August. That sector had lost 9,900 employees in the previous year. There also were gains in leisure and hospitality, transportation and utilities, financial activities, mining and logging and government.

But manufacturing lost 3,200 jobs in August, down 35,300 since the previous August. Construction lost 1,200 positions in the month and 18,300 in the past year.