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Kentucky’s unemployment rate decreases to 5 percent in May 2017

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Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary May unemployment rate was 5 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for May 2017 was down 0.1 percentage points from the 5.1 percent reported in April 2017.
The preliminary May 2017 jobless rate was unchanged from the 5 percent rate recorded for the state in May 2016.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for May 2017 was 4.3 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.
In May 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,085,238, an increase of 2,416 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 4,264, while the number of unemployed decreased by 1,848.
In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 2,000 jobs in May 2017 compared to April 2017. Kentucky has added 26,400 jobs since May 2016, a 1.4 percent employment growth.
 “The two measures of employment are showing mixed signals for employment growth this month,” said Kentucky Labor Market Information Director Kate Shirley Akers, Ph.D. “The household survey suggests that more individuals were working this month, but this growth was slower than reported in previous months. The establishment survey indicates the number of jobs in Kentucky has decreased. Month-to-month data is highly variable.
Long-run trends provide a clearer indication of how the state’s economy is performing.”
Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, four of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors registered gains in employment, while seven declined from the previous month.
Kentucky’s education and health services sector showed the largest gains with 1,100 more jobs in May 2017.
This sector has increased by 4,400 jobs since May 2016, a 1.6 percent growth rate. This sector was led by the health care and social assistance subsector, which added 1,400 jobs in May 2017. The education subsector lost 300 jobs.
Trade, transportation and utilities gained 500 jobs from April 2017 to May 2017. Since May 2016, this sector is up 4,500 jobs or 1.1 percent.
The information sector rose by 200 jobs from April 2017 to May 2017. Kentucky has seen a 6.1 percent growth in information jobs since May 2016. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.
The financial activities sector added 200 jobs in May 2017. Since May 2016, this sector has gained 2,500 jobs or 2.7 percent.
Employment in construction fell by 1,400 jobs, a 1.7 percent decrease since April 2017. However, construction is up since May 2016 with 2,900 more jobs, an increase of 3.8 percent.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector lost 900 jobs in May 2017. From May 2016, employment in this sector has risen 1,200 or 0.6 percent. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.
Manufacturing lost 400 jobs, a 0.2 percent decrease, in May 2017. Since May 2016, this sector has added 3,700 jobs, a 1.5 percent increase.
Mining and logging fell by 200 jobs, a decrease of 2 percent. This sector has declined by 900 jobs, or 8.5 percent, since May last year.
Professional and business services had 400 fewer jobs, a 0.2 percent decline. However, this sector has added 6,500 jobs since May 2016, a 3 percent growth. This category includes establishments engaged in services that support the day-to-day activities of other organizations, including temporary employment services and payroll processing.
The other services sector fell by 500 jobs in May 2017, a drop of 0.7 percent, but has expanded by 1,300 positions since last May. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services, and religious organizations.
The government sector dropped by 200 jobs in May 2017 and 1,100 positions since last May. This sector includes public education, public administration agencies and state-owned hospitals.
Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.
Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted.
Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.
Learn more about the Office of Employment and Training at http://www.kylmi.ky.gov/.