Jobless rate ticked up to 10.7% in January

Kentucky's unemployment rate rose a tenth of a percentage point in January to 10.7 percent, reflecting the state's continued economic struggle, according to a state labor market analyst.

The rise came "in response to the third-largest monthly employment decline on record and a rise in the number of entrants and re-entrants into the civilian labor force," said Justine Detzel, chief labor market analyst for the state Office of Employment and Training.

Kentucky's unemployment rate rose above 10 percent in May and has stayed above that ever since. The rate a year ago was 9.1 percent. The state's unemployment rate also continued to stay higher than the nation's, which was 9.7 percent in January.

Four of the 11 major industries that are tracked showed employment increases during the month, while six decreased and one remained the same.

Overall, the state lost 11,800 jobs in the month.

The biggest increase — 2,900 jobs — came in the trade, transportation and utilities sector. It was the first increase for the sector since September 2009 and only the second increase in the past 17 months, Detzel said.

"The job gains are concentrated in the retail trade industry, which is indicative of multiple store openings," Detzel said in a statement.

Other sectors that added jobs included financial activities, manufacturing and information.

The manufacturing gains marked the third consecutive month of growth for that sector and came because of expansions at a food manufacturer and a clothing producer, Detzel said. The state does not identify businesses in releasing the statistics.

The sector that saw steady employment was mining and logging.

The largest monthly losses came in the professional and business services and construction sectors, both of which shed 5,300 positions.

In the professional and business services sector, the "job losses are concentrated in administrative and support business, reflecting the end of temporary work at a customer management and technical support center and weakness in the employment services industry," Detzel said.

The construction sector's performance was the 19th such job loss in the last 20 months.

Other sectors with job losses were educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, government, and other services.