State releases county unemployment data for January 2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: Links to Kentucky county unemployment rate charts and maps are above.


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Mar. 18, 2021) - – Unemployment rates fell in 66 Kentucky counties between January 2020 and January 2021, rose in 48, and stayed the same in six counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.


Todd County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.6%. It was followed by Logan County, 3.7%; Oldham and Woodford counties, 3.8% each; Washington County, 3.9%; Cumberland, Green, Scott and Taylor counties, 4%; and Bourbon, Clinton and Monroe counties, 4.1% each.


Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 14.3%. It was followed by Harlan County, 9.9%; Elliott County, 9.5%; Martin County, 9.1%; Leslie County, 9%; Lewis and Menifee counties, 8.9%; Carter County, 8.7%; and Johnson and Letcher counties, 8.2%.


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 5.3% for January 2021, and 6.3% for the nation.


Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted January 2021 unemployment rate was released on March 11, 2021, and can be viewed at https://kentucky.gov/Pages/Activity-stream.aspx?n=EducationCabinet&prId=478. 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 at https://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm#why.


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.


Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at https://kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI.


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