FRANKFORT — Following two straight months of record-low unemployment rates in Kentucky, the preliminary August 2022 figure rose 0.1%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics, an agency within the state Education and Labor Cabinet.
Despite the slight uptick, the 3.8% jobless rate was still a full point down from the 4.8% recorded in Kentucky one year ago.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for August 2022 was 3.7%, which was up 0.2 percentage points from July 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Kentucky’s unemployment rate moved up slightly in August as estimates suggest there were both fewer people in the labor force and more people unemployed,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research Director Mike Clark. “While August estimates differed somewhat from July, these differences were not statistically significant, which indicates that there has been little change.”
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 rose by 26,700 jobs in August 2022 compared to July 2022. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 58,400 jobs or 3.1% compared to August 2021.
“Employers reported strong growth in payroll for August with gains occurring in most major sectors,” Clark stated. “Kentucky also hit an important milestone in August as total non-farm employment reached its pre-pandemic levels. While several sectors such as financial activities and professional and business services have recovered, others such as manufacturing and construction are still below pre-pandemic levels.”
Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for eight of Kentucky’s major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System job sectors in August, decreased for one, and was unchanged for two.
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.