Editor’s Note: Preliminary September and revised August labor market information are included in this release.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2021) — Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary September 2021 unemployment rate was 4.3%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC).
The preliminary September 2021 jobless rate was unchanged from August 2021 and down 1.2 percentage points from the 5.5% recorded for the state one year ago.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for September 2021 was 4.8%, down from the 5.2% reported in August 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based upon estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. The survey is designed to measure trends in the number of people working, and includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.
Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,987,352 in September 2021, an increase of 1,616 individuals from August 2021. The number of people employed in September increased by 1,919 to 1,902,645 while the number unemployed decreased by 303 to 84,707.
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 4,000 jobs in September 2021 compared to August 2021. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 39,700 jobs or 2.2% compared to September 2020.
“Kentucky’s employment posted additional gains in September,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “However, the gains were concentrated in three areas—state government; retail trade; and transportation, warehousing and utilities. The increased employment in these sectors was somewhat dampened by losses in several other sectors.”
Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for four of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in September 2021 while six declined and one was unchanged.
The government sector added 3,500 jobs from August 2021 to September 2021. This represents an increase of 1.2% over August 2021. Employment increased by 100 jobs in federal government; 3,200 jobs in state government; and 200 jobs in local government. Total government employment was up 2,600 positions or 0.9% compared to September 2020.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector jumped by 2,600 positions from August 2021 to September 2021. Retail trade employment was up 1,200 jobs in September; wholesale trade was down 100 positions; and transportation, warehousing and utilities was up 1,500 jobs. Since September 2020, employment in this sector has increased by 9,200 jobs or 2.3%.
Construction employment increased by 800 jobs in September 2021, a gain of 1% over August. The construction sector was up 4,800 positions or 6.3% from one year ago.
Employment in the information services sector added 300 jobs from August to September. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications. The number of jobs in this sector was up by 100 or 0.5% from one year ago.
The number of jobs in Kentucky’s mining and logging sector was unchanged from August 2021 to September 2021. This sector was down 300 positions or 4.1% from a year ago.
Employment at Kentucky’s manufacturers fell by 200 jobs or 0.1% from August 2021 to September 2021. The durable goods subsector lost 1,500 jobs, or 0.9% over August. Non-durable goods gained 1,300 jobs from August to September. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was up 11,700 positions or 4.9% since September 2020.
“Employment among Kentucky’s manufacturers of non-durable goods jumped in September and exceeded its pre-pandemic levels,” said Clark.
Employment in Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector fell by 300 positions from August 2021 to September 2021, a loss of 0.2%. This sector was up 3,400 jobs or 2% compared to September 2020. The accommodations and food services subsector added 100 jobs from August to September. The arts, entertainment and recreation subsector lost 400 positions.
Employment in the financial activities sector was down by 600 positions in September 2021. The finance and insurance subsector decreased by 700 jobs from August 2021 to September 2021. The real estate, rental and leasing subsector added 100 jobs. The sector has grown by 2,800 jobs or 3% from last September.
Employment in the other services sector fell by 600 jobs in September 2021 and was up 1,900 positions since September 2020. The other services sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.
The professional and business services sector declined by 700 jobs or 0.3% in September 2021. Employment fell by 300 jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services subsector; 300 jobs in the administrative and support and waste management subsector; and 100 jobs in the management of companies subsector. Employment in this sector was down 800 or 0.4% since September 2020.
Kentucky’s educational and health services sector lost 800 jobs in September 2021. The educational services subsector lost 200 positions from August to September while the health care and social assistance subsector lost 600 positions. Since last September, this sector has increased by 4,300 jobs or 1.6%.
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.
To learn more about Kentucky labor market information, visit http://kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI.