Kentucky’s unemployment rate drops to 4.9 percent in July

Kentucky’s unemployment rate drops to 4.9 percent in July.
Kentucky’s unemployment rate drops to 4.9 percent in July. AP

Kentucky’s unemployment for July dipped to 4.9 percent from a revised 5 percent in June, according to the Office of Employment Training.

The U.S. jobless rate for July was 4.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“The last time our unemployment rate dipped below 5 percent was 15 years ago, in May 2001. We are now at par with the national average,” economist Manoj Shanker of the OET said in the news release. “It’s worth celebrating — as long as we remember that we still have to address our consistently low labor force participation rate.”

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector jumped by 2,300 jobs in July compared with the previous month. Since July 2015, employment in manufacturing has increased by 4,300 jobs. Durable goods account for two-thirds of the manufacturing sector and grew by 4.8 percent from a year ago with the addition of 7,500 jobs. Nondurable goods lost 3,200 jobs over the year.

“Kentucky is following the national trend, with a strong rise in new orders and manufacturing production indexes,” Shanker said. “Even the relatively strong dollar hasn’t deterred manufacturing activity.”

The educational and health services sector added 500 positions in July 2016 and had a robust gain of 9,800 jobs from a year ago.

The leisure and hospitality sector rose by 400 jobs in July 2016 from a month ago. Since July last year, the sector has added 1,400 jobs. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.

The construction sector dropped by 1,500 jobs in July from a month ago. Since July 2015, construction jobs have decreased by 2,300 positions.

The government sector, which includes public education, public administration agencies and state-owned hospitals, fell by 1,700 jobs in July 2016 and declined by 3,800 positions compared to last July.