State releases county unemployment data for February 2024

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 28, 2024) — Unemployment rates rose in 112 counties between February 2023 and February 2024, fell in Bullitt, Elliott, Shelby and Spencer counties, and remained the same in Lewis, Meade, Nicholas and Washington counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet. 

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the commonwealth at 3.7%. It was followed by Washington County, 3.8%; Marion County, 4%; Fayette and Spencer counties, 4.1% each; Oldham, Scott and Shelby counties, 4.2% each; and Anderson and Nelson counties, 4.3% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 11.9%. It was followed by Breathitt County, 10.4%; Martin County, 10.1%; Elliott County, 10%; Carter County, 9.9%; Lewis County, 9.6%; Menifee County, 9.5%; Johnson and Knott counties, 8.6% each; and Leslie County, 8.3%.

Kentucky’s county unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. 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. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 5.1% for February 2024, and 4.2% for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted February 2024 unemployment rate was released on March 21, 2024, and can be viewed here.

In that release, Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are adjusted to observe statistical trends by removing seasonal influences such as weather changes, harvests, holidays, and school openings and closings. For more information regarding seasonal fluctuations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military 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. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.               

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. 

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