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Unemployment rates in the Cumberland Valley District 5.6% between January 2018 and January 2019, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Harlan County recorded the highest rate at 7.3% and Laurel County had the lowest at 4.9%. Other county rates were Jackson 7.2%, Clay 6.8%, Bell 6.3%, Rockcastle 5.0%, Whitley 5.0%, Knox 5.8%

Unemployment rates fell in 37 Kentucky counties  rose in 72, and stayed the same in 11 counties. Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.1 percent. It was followed by Fayette County, 3.3 percent; Oldham and Shelby counties, 3.4 percent each; Scott County, 3.5 percent; Boone and Spencer counties, 3.6 percent each; Anderson County, 3.7 percent; Campbell, Franklin, Henderson, Jessamine, Kenton and Madison counties, 3.8 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 14.2 percent. It was followed by Lewis County, 10.1 percent; Carter County, 10 percent; Elliott County, 9.8 percent; Menifee County, 8.9 percent; Fulton County, 8.8 percent; Wolfe County, 8.6 percent; Lawrence County, 8 percent; Breathitt County, 7.8 percent; Bath and Livingston counties, 7.7 percent each.

Kentucky’s county unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. 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. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 4.5 percent for January 2019, and 4.4 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was released last week and can be viewed at https://kentucky.gov/Pages/Activity-stream.aspx?n=EducationCabinet&prId=298. In that release, Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are adjusted to observe statistical trends by removing seasonal influences such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. For more information regarding seasonal fluctuations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at https://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm#why.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military 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. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at https://kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI.

Editor, The Manchester Enterprise