Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet Releases April 2024 Unemployment Report

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 16, 2024) — Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary April 2024 unemployment rate was 4.6%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet.

The preliminary April 2024 jobless rate was up 0.1 percentage points from March 2024 and up 0.6 percentage points from one year ago.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April 2024 was 3.9%, which was up from the 3.8% recorded for March 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based upon estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. The survey is designed to measure trends in the number of people working and includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,033,770 in April 2024, an increase of 6,033 individuals from March 2024. The number of people employed in April increased by 3,613 to 1,940,669 while the number unemployed increased by 2,420 to 93,101.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate ticked up in April as more people entered or returned to the labor force seeking work,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “As the labor force grew, we saw both more people without jobs who were searching for work this month and more people employed.”

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 increased by 500 jobs to 2,034,700 in April 2024 compared to March 2024. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 22,500 jobs or 1.1% compared to April 2023.

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for four of Kentucky’s major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in April 2024 and decreased for seven.

“Strong employment growth in Kentucky’s health and education services sector helped offset job losses that occurred in April across several of Kentucky’s other major sectors,” said Clark.

The educational and health services sector grew by 3,600 positions in April 2024. Employment in the health care and social assistance subsector increased by 3,100 jobs from March to April. The educational services subsector gained 500 jobs. Since last April, this sector has grown by 16,900 jobs or 5.6%.

Employment in the government sector increased by 500 jobs from March 2024 to April 2024. The number of jobs fell by 100 in federal government; increased by 300 in state government; and increased by 300 in local government. The total number of government jobs rose by 7,200 positions or 2.4% compared to April 2023.

Construction employment was up 300 jobs or 0.3% from March 2024 to April 2024 and up 4,200 positions or 4.8% from one year ago.

The number of jobs in the state’s mining and logging sector was up 100 from March to April. This sector had 400 more jobs in April 2024 compared to April 2023.

Employment in Kentucky’s information services sector fell by 100 jobs from March to April. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications. The number of jobs in this sector was down 700 from one year ago.

Employment in the trade, transportation and utilities sector declined by 200 positions from March to April and was down 2,600 jobs or 0.6% compared to a year ago. The wholesale trade subsector lost 1,100 jobs and transportation, warehousing and utilities subsector lost 300 jobs. Most of these losses were offset by a gain of 1,200 jobs in the retail trade subsector.

The other services sector was down by 300 jobs from March to April. This sector had 1,300 more positions in April 2024 compared to April 2023. This sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

Kentucky’s financial activities sector decreased by 300 positions from March 2024 to April 2024 and was down 2,100 jobs from April 2023. The finance and insurance subsector lost 100 jobs while the real estate, rental and leasing subsector lost 200 positions.

Employment in Kentucky’s professional and business services sector declined by 500 jobs or 0.2% in April 2024. From March to April, employment decreased by 200 jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services subsector; lost 300 jobs in the management of companies subsector; and was unchanged in the administrative, support and waste management subsector. The sector has decreased by 1,900 positions since April 2023.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector contracted by 1,200 jobs from March 2024 to April 2024. The durable goods manufacturing subsector lost 1,900 positions, but the non-durable goods subsector added 700 jobs. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was down 2,200 positions or 0.9% compared to April 2023.

The leisure and hospitality sector contracted in April, losing 1,400 positions. This represents a decrease of 0.7%. This sector reported 2,000 more jobs in April than one year ago. The accommodations and food services subsector was down by 1,100 positions in April. The arts, entertainment and recreation subsector decreased by 300 jobs from March to April.

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, due to the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Visit the Kentucky Center for Statistics website to learn more about Kentucky labor market information. 

Follow the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates from the cabinet.

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