Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet Releases December 2022 Unemployment Report

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2023) —Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary December 2022 unemployment rate was 4%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet (KELC).

The preliminary December 2022 jobless rate was unchanged from November 2022 but was down 0.6 percentage points from the 4.6% recorded for the state one year ago.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for December 2022 was 3.5%, which was down 0.1 percentage points from November 2022, 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 2,050,990 in December 2022, a decrease of 4,606 individuals from November 2022. The number of people employed in December decreased by 3,841 to 1,969,341 while the number of unemployed decreased by 765 to 81,649.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate held steady at 4% in December,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “However, there were both fewer people employed and fewer people in the labor market. Both of these figures have been decreasing over the past few months.”

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 fell by 4,000 jobs in December 2022 compared to November 2022. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 46,400 jobs or 2.4% compared to December 2021.

“While Kentucky posted strong employment growth throughout most of 2022, it gave up a portion of these gains during the last three months of the year,” said Clark. “Even with these decreases, the commonwealth’s total nonfarm employment was up 46,400 jobs compared to one year ago. Most of the job losses during the end of the year have occurred in the professional and business sector.” 

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for six of Kentucky’s major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in December 2022, decreased for three, and was unchanged for two.

“While six sectors reported increased employment in December, these sectors generally grew slower in December than they had during the rest of the year,” said Clark.

Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector grew by 400 positions from November 2022 to December 2022, a gain of 0.2%. This sector added 7,300 jobs or 3.8% compared to December 2021. Employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector increased by 1,000 jobs from November to December. The accommodations and food services subsector lost 600 jobs in December.

The other services sector added 400 jobs in December 2022. This sector had 1,000 more positions compared to December 2021. This sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector added 200 positions from November 2022 to December 2022. Durable goods manufacturers fell by 100 jobs in December while non-durable goods manufacturers added 300 jobs. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was up 6,300 positions or 2.6% since December 2021.

Government sector employment increased by 200 jobs from November 2022 to December 2022. Employment was up by 100 jobs in the federal government; down 400 positions in state government; and up 500 jobs in local government. Employment in the total government sector grew by 9,300 positions or 3.1% compared to December 2021.

Kentucky’s educational and health services sector gained 200 positions in December 2022. Employment in the health care and social assistance subsector expanded by 700 jobs in December. These gains were partially offset by a loss of 500 jobs in the educational services subsector. Since last December, this sector has grown by 12,700 jobs or 4.5%.

The financial activities sector grew by 100 jobs from November 2022 to December 2022. Employment was up by 100 jobs in the finance and insurance subsector. The number of jobs in the real estate, rental and leasing subsector did not change from November to December. The financial activities sector increased by 1,600 jobs compared to last December.

Employment in the information services sector was unchanged in December. 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 grew by 1,100 or 5.3% from one year ago.

Employment in Kentucky’s mining and logging sector was unchanged in December. This sector was up 500 jobs from December 2021.

Employment in Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector decreased by 800 jobs from November to December. Employment was up 6,900 jobs or 1.6% compared to a year ago. The retail trade subsector gained 200 jobs from November to December. These gains were offset by a loss of 900 jobs in the transportation, warehousing and utilities subsector and a loss of 100 jobs in the wholesale sector.

Construction employment fell by 1,600 jobs in December 2022 or 2% from November and was down 2,200 positions or 2.7% from one year ago.

Employment in Kentucky’s professional and business services sector contracted by 3,100 jobs or 1.4% in December 2022. Employment was up by 200 jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services subsector from November to December and up 100 jobs in the management of companies subsector. The administrative, support and waste management subsector lost 3,400 jobs. Employment in this sector was up by 1,900 jobs or 0.9% since December 2021.

“Decreases in administrative, support and waste management employment over the last three months of 2022 erased all of the employment gains this subsector saw earlier in the year,” said Clark.

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.

To learn more about Kentucky labor market information, visit http://kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI


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