Kentucky's jobless rate drops to 10 percent

Kentucky's unemployment rate fell to 10 percent in April, down from 10.2 percent a month earlier.

The state netted 3,800 jobs in the month, as "Kentucky's economy continued to show signs of improvement in April 2011 led by strength in the manufacturing sector," said Justine Detzel, chief labor market analyst for the state Office of Employment and Training.

The state's unemployment rate in April continued to outpace the national rate of 9 percent, which increased from 8.8 percent in March. 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 eight of the 11 major industries.

Leading the gains was the manufacturing sector, which added 2,500 jobs. Since April 2010, employment in the manufacturing sector has climbed by 5,700 positions.

"The number of industrial workers has increased 10 times in the past 14 months," Detzel said. "Job gains are concentrated in the non-durable goods subsector, which is indicative of the opening of a textile manufacturer." The state does not identify individual businesses in releasing unemployment data.

The state's professional and business services sector expanded by 1,100 positions in April. This area includes professional, scientific and technical services; management of companies; and administrative support and waste management, including temporary help agencies. Since last April, jobs in the sector have risen by 7,300.

"The job gains are clustered at administrative and support enterprises, which is a sign of the openings of a janitorial service and a support-services center," Detzel said.

Additional sectors reporting employment growth were educational and health services (1,100); other services (1,100); mining and logging (300); financial activities (300); trade, transportation and utilities (200); and information (100).

The largest drop came in the government sector, which shed 1,600 jobs.

"This represents the second time in the last four months public employment has decreased," Detzel said. "The job losses are concentrated in the state government subsector."

The construction sector decreased by 900 jobs, and the leisure and hospitality sector declined by 400 jobs.