Kentucky's November unemployment rate hits lowest mark since April 2008

12/18/2014 12:06 PM

Kentucky’s jobless rate hit a six-and-a-half-year low last month, dropping to 6 percent and nearly matching the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet announced Thursday.

November’s unemployment numbers in the state are the lowest since April 2008 when the jobless rate was 5.9 percent and 2.1 percent lower than last November’s 8.1 percent unemployment, according to a news release from the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Office of Employment and Training.

Manoj Shanker, an OET economist, said the state’s labor market has shown considerable improvement this year.

“The 2.1 percentage point drop in November from a year ago was last seen over 30 years ago,” Shanker said in the news release. “To put that in perspective: the last time such a steep drop occurred was when Ronald Reagan was a month away from winning his second term in office and The Terminator was just released.”

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs grew by 5,300 in November from October and 38,700 from November 2013, according to the cabinet. The civilian labor force reached nearly 2 million last month, down 3,260 from October, while overall employment increased 1,419 and unemployment dropped by 4,679, the release states.

“This year we have had steady nonfarm job growth. In the last three months we have added an average of over 32,000 jobs per month from a year ago,” Shanker said. “Moreover, our job market has now recouped all the jobs lost during the Great Recession.”

Shanker noted that consumer sentiment has hit a post-recession high, fueling higher holiday spending as Christmas approaches.

“Even after adjusting the data for seasonal factors, hiring is strong especially at drop-shipping centers and warehouses,” he said.

How Kentucky industries fared in November, according to cabinet data
  • Trade, transportation and utilities sector grew by 2,300 jobs from October and 9,900 jobs since November 2013
  • Educational and health services sector grew by 1,100 jobs from October and 6,400 jobs since November 2013
  • Government sector grew by 1,100 jobs from October and 1,800 jobs since November 2013
  • Construction sector grew by 900 jobs from October but declined by 2,400 jobs since November 2013
  • Information sector grew by 900 jobs from October and 1,300 jobs since November 2013
  • Other services sector (i.e. maintenance, repairs, personal care services and religious organizations) grew by 300 jobs from October and 400 jobs since November 2013
  • Professional and business services sector grew by 200 jobs from October and 10,900 jobs since November 2013
  • Manufacturing sector job growth was flat from October and up 2,700 jobs since November 2013
  • Leisure and hospitality sector declined by 100 jobs from October but grown by 10,800 jobs since November 2013
  • Mining and logging sector declined by 400 jobs from October and 300 jobs since November 2013
  • Financial services sector declined by 800 jobs from October and 2,800 jobs since November 2013
Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.