State releases county unemployment data for September 2021

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

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2021) - Unemployment rates rose in two Kentucky counties between September 2020 and September 2021, fell in 116, and stayed the same in two, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Cumberland, Oldham, and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the commonwealth at 2.8% each. They were followed by Shelby and Spencer counties, 3.0% each; Henry, Scott, and Todd counties, 3.1% each; and Boone, Green, and Taylor counties, 3.2% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 11.1%. It was followed by Breathitt County, 8.8%; Harlan County, 7.9%; Martin County, 7.8%; Carter County, 7.1%; Leslie County, 7.0%; Letcher County, 6.9%; Elliott County, 6.7%; Floyd County, 6.6%; and Owsley County, 6.5%.

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 3.9% for September 2021, and 4.6% for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted September 2021 unemployment rate was released on Oct. 21, 2021, and can be viewed at

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

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 sKentuckians 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

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