State releases annual county unemployment data for 2022

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 24, 2023) — Annual unemployment rates decreased in 102 Kentucky counties in 2022, increased in 12 and stayed the same in six counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet.  

The annual jobless rates for Scott and Woodford counties were the lowest in the commonwealth in 2022 at 3% each. It was followed by Boone, Carroll and Fayette counties, 3.1% each; Anderson, Cumberland, Jessamine and Todd counties, 3.2% each; and Campbell, Harrison, Kenton, Marion, Monroe and Oldham counties, 3.3% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest annual unemployment rate in 2022 at 10.5%. It was followed by Elliott County, 8%; Breathitt and Martin counties, 7.3% each; Lewis County, 7.2%; Carter County, 7%; Owsley County, 6.9%; Leslie County, 6.6%; Harlan County, 6.3%; and Knott and Letcher counties, 6.1% each.

In contrast to the monthly national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted. The comparable, unadjusted annual state unemployment rate for the state was 3.9% for 2022, and 3.6% for the nation. For more information regarding seasonal fluctuations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at

In 2022, 75 counties were above the comparable, unadjusted annual state unemployment rate of 3.9%, while 40 were below the state unadjusted rate and five (Boyle, Daviess, Hart, Spencer and Webster counties) were the same rate.

Compared to the national unadjusted 2022 annual rate of 3.6%, 91 Kentucky counties had higher 2022 annual rates, while 24 were lower and five (Clark, Gallatin, Henry, Madison and Warren counties) matched it. 

Counties with the largest decline in annual unemployment rates from 2021 to 2022 were Harlan County, -1.6 percentage points, Martin County; -1.3 percentage points; Magoffin and Letcher counties, -1 percentage point each; and Leslie, Johnson, Menifee, Livingston and Barren counties, -0.9 percentage points each.

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 statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted to allow for comparisons between United States, state, and counties figures. The statistics in this news release may be revised in the future.

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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