Unemployment shows slight uptick in June at 5.1 percent

07/20/2017 11:49 AM

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed slightly to 5.1 percent in June, a 0.1 increase from the previous month.

The state’s jobless rate lags the national rate of 4.4 percent as employment dropped by 10,721 jobs and unemployment grew by 2,191 from May, according to a news release Thursday from the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

However, the nearly 1.8 million jobs in the state as of June are 76,792 more than the amount in June 2016, when unemployment was 5 percent. Joblessness grew by 7,206 over the past year, data from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics shows.

Chris Bollinger, director of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said the state’s unemployment rate has hovered around 5 percent for the past two years.

“Kentucky has experienced solid and steady employment growth since 2010. However, both measures of employment suggest that Kentucky’s employment growth has slowed recently,” Bollinger said in a statement. “The survey of businesses indicates that Kentucky employers added about 7,600 jobs in the first quarter of 2017, but only 600 jobs in the second quarter.”

Total nonfarm employment dropped by 500 over the previous month but has grown by 30,900 from June 2016 to this June. Private-sector jobs increased by 1,200 in June and 32,700 over the past year, according to data released Thursday.

Jobs in trade, transportation and utilities showed the most growth in June, with 1,800 added from May and 8,100 over the past year. That’s the second-highest year-to-year increase behind the 8,900 professional and business service jobs added since June 2016.

“This sector’s employment has steadily increased since early 2010, supported in part by the growth in other sectors such as manufacturing,” Bollinger said, referring to employment in trade, transportation and utilities. “Kentucky has a number of important location and infrastructure features such as major interstates that help support this important industry.”

Labor statistics show that jobs in government and health care and social assistance showed the sharpest month-to-month decline with 1,700 lost apiece. Employment in state, local and federal governments is down by 1,800 over the past year, with 1,200 fewer jobs in state government in June compared to the previous year. Much of that decline came in the previous month, when 1,000 state government jobs were lost.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135.

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