Kentucky's unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent in July as the state's civilian labor force shrank. It's the third straight monthly increase in the state's jobless rate.
The Office of Employment and Training said Thursday that the statewide rate rose slightly from 8.4 percent in June.
The jobless rate has risen every month since April, when unemployment stood at 7.9 percent.
The national unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent in July, down from 7.6 percent the previous month.
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In July, the state's civilian labor force was nearly 2.1 million, a drop of 8,799 from June.
Some sectors gained jobs in July, including the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which picked up 2,600 jobs. Other sectors gaining jobs were: construction, 2,500; educational and health services, 2,300; financial activities, 1,500; manufacturing, 1,500; leisure and hospitality, 1,400; and other services, 200.
The information sector and the mining and logging sector remained flat.
The government sector lost 1,600 jobs in July, and professional and business services lost 900.
Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed residents who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.