State unemployment up slightly in July at 5.3 percent

08/17/2017 01:36 PM

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 5.3 percent in July, a 0.2 percent increase from June, according to figures released Thursday by the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Last month’s preliminary numbers represent a 0.3 percent uptick from July 2016 and are 1 percent less than the 4.3 percent U.S. unemployment rate in July.

Nonfarm jobs grew by 7,700 from June, which University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research Director Chris Bollinger called “very encouraging, especially considering the slow growth that occurred during the second quarter of 2017.”

“The household survey may suggest that Kentucky’s economy slowed somewhat this month but with a 5.3 percent unemployment rate, the state’s economy is still healthy,” Bollinger said in a statement.

The state’s civilian labor force was nearly 2.1 million in July, dropping by 10,219 from June. Employment also declined by 13,898 last month while the number of unemployed Kentuckians rose by 3,679, according to the cabinet.

Manufacturing jobs grew by 3,000 in July, a 1.2 percent increase from June, and employment in the trade, transportation and utilities sector increased by 2,300, cabinet statistics show. State government employment dropped by the highest amount in July, declining by 700 jobs from June to 96,900.

Bollinger also highlighted the growth in professional and business services, which increased by 400 jobs in July and 8,200 jobs since July 2016.

“This is a positive sign for the state as these jobs generally pay above average wages,” he said in a statement.

More information on the latest unemployment figures can be found here.

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