State jobless rate falls in November

Kentucky's unemployment rate continued its downward trajectory in November, falling to 9.4 percent from 9.6 percent in October.

The rate has seesawed lately. It had experienced a monthslong fall earlier this year only to stay steady in August and then rise 0.2 percentage points in September.

In November, the state continued to lag the national rate, which was 8.6 percent.

The state added jobs for the second straight month, but the decrease in the jobless rate was primarily because people dropped out of the work force and no longer counted as being unemployed, according to a statement from Ron Crouch, director of research and statistics for the state Office of Employment and Training.

The state added 4,500 jobs during the month, as four of the major economic sectors increased employment, six decreased and one remained the same.

The highest growth came in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which added 6,000 jobs.

"The job gains in the trade, transportation and utilities sector were across the board," Crouch said. "All three of the sub-sectors showed strong growth during the past month, which indicates that consumers are increasing their spending."

The professional and business services sector added 1,900 positions, and the educational and health services sector grew by 1,300 jobs. Also, the government sector added 600 jobs in November.

Leading the losses was the construction sector, which shed 2,500 jobs.

"The downward employment in construction continued in the past month as it has during the past year," Crouch said. "Since last November, we have seen a nearly 10 percent drop in construction jobs."

Jobs in the state's manufacturing sector declined by 1,700, although employment is up more than 2 percent during the past year.

Other sectors losing jobs were leisure and hospitality (500), information (200), financial activities (200), and mining and logging (200).

Employment in the other services sector, which includes repair businesses and religious organizations, stayed steady in November.