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No change in state unemployment rate

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(The Center Square) – Kentucky’s unemployment rate in June remained at 3.8% for the second consecutive month, according to a state release Thursday, with data showing the state adding slightly to its workforce rolls.

While the state’s rate has been at or near record lows for months, it remains higher than the national average. That was 3.6% last month, down from 3.7% in May.

The Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet also reported the state’s civilian labor pool rose by more than 2,000 people – or 0.1%. Of the nearly 2.1 million people in the workforce, only 77,300 have filed for unemployment. When factoring in the additions to the labor force, only 93 of them were unemployed.

“As more workers continue to enter the labor force, they are quickly finding jobs,” University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research Director Dr. Mike Clark said in a statement. “As a result, there was little change in the number of people unemployed.”

The state also released data showing where it has added jobs. Not surprisingly, the summer building season has allowed construction firms to add 2,000 jobs in June, up 2.3% from May. Construction jobs are up 8% from June of last year.

Other sectors with month-to-month gains are the public sector, a total of 1,100 jobs in local, state and federal agencies; and media outlets, which had 200 more jobs come to the state.

However, several sectors did lose jobs from June to May. Most notably, the state’s manufacturing sector is down 900 jobs. Despite the recent drop, manufacturers have added 8,100 jobs over the last year.

The hospitality sector reported 200 fewer jobs in June compared to May. Still, the industry has added 4,000 new positions since June 2022.

One sector that has fallen over the past year has been the financial sector. It’s down 400 positions from May, and since last June, businesses have reduced their positions by 2,400.

The state defines its labor force as workers, excluding military personnel, and people actively seeking who have sought a job within the past month.

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