Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary March unemployment rate was 4 percent, the lowest rate recorded for the state in the 42 years since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started providing data in 1976, that’s according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for March 2018 was down from the revised 4.1 percent reported for February 2018. The preliminary March 2018 jobless rate was down 1.2 percentage points from the 5.2 percent recorded for the state in March 2017. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for March 2018 was unchanged from the 4.1 percent reported for February 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
In March 2018, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,049,934, an increase of 941 individuals compared to the previous month. The number of people employed was up by 2,915, while the number unemployed decreased by 1,974. Kentucky’s, trade, transportation and utilities employment recorded the largest increase in March 2018 with 1,700 jobs. Construction employment jumped by 1,000 jobs from February 2018 to March 2018, a gain of 1.3 percent. The financial activities sector gained 300 positions from February 2018 to March 2018, but has 300 fewer jobs than last March.
The professional and business services sector gained 100 jobs in March 2018 and has added 400 jobs since March 2017. The government sector added 100 jobs in March 2018. The number of jobs in mining and logging did not change from February 2018 to March 2018. Employment in this sector is down by 100 jobs since March 2017. Kentucky’s manufacturing lost 700 jobs in March 2018, an decrease of 0.3 percent. Durable goods manufacturing lost 300 jobs while non-durable goods manufacturing fell by 400 positions. The leisure and hospitality sector decreased by 400 jobs from February 2018 to March 2018, a 0.2 percent loss. Accommodations and food service declined by 500 jobs, while arts, entertainment and recreation gained 100 jobs in March.
Employment in the information services sector fell by 300 jobs in March 2018. This sector has declined by 800 jobs or 3.5 percent since March 2017. The education and health services sector dropped by 300 jobs in March 2018. Within this sector, employment in educational services fell by 200 positions, and health care and social assistance declined by 100 jobs. Employment in this sector has fallen by 1,100 jobs since a year ago. Employment in the other services sector decreased by 300 positions in March 2018, but added 1,400 from a year ago. This represents a growth rate of 2.1 percent from March 2017 to March 2018. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.
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, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.