EDITOR'S NOTE: Links to the unemployment rate chart and the employment chart are below.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April. 14, 2022) —Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary March 2022 unemployment rate was 4%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC).
The preliminary March 2022 jobless rate was down 0.2 percentage points from the 4.2% reported in February 2022 and down 0.7 percentage points from the 4.7% recorded for the state one year ago.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for March 2022 was 3.6%, down from the 3.8% reported in February 2022, 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 2,060,065 in March 2022, an increase of 3,980 individuals from February 2022. The number of people employed in March increased by 8,351 to 1,977,936 while the number of unemployed decreased by 4,371 to 82,129.
“March provided another positive labor market report for the Commonwealth,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “Kentucky saw improvements in its labor force participation rate and the number of people who were employed. With employment continuing to grow faster than the labor force, fewer workers reported that they were unemployed. These gains allowed Kentucky’s unemployment rate to return to the historic low that was set just before the pandemic.”
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 2,300 jobs in March 2022 compared to February 2022. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 46,600 jobs or 2.5% compared to March 2021.
“Kentucky’s total nonfarm employment posted additional gains in March, but the increase was softer than in recent months,” said Clark. “March’s employment gains were fairly broad spread across several major sectors. However, losses in construction and manufacturing employment partially offset these broader gains. The March estimates indicate that Kentucky has recouped 93% of the 296,000 jobs lost during the initial months of the pandemic.”
Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for seven of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in March 2022 while three declined and one was unchanged.
Kentucky’s educational and health services sector jumped by 3,300 jobs in March 2022. The health care and social assistance subsector added 2,800 positions from February to March. The educational services subsector gained 500 jobs. Since last March, this sector has increased by 2,000 jobs or 0.7%.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector grew by 1,700 positions from February 2022 to March 2022. Retail trade employment was up 1,000 jobs in March, while wholesale trade added 900 positions. Transportation, warehousing and utilities lost 200 jobs. Since March 2021, employment in this sector has increased by 15,200 jobs or 3.7%.
Employment in the financial activities sector increased by 1,500 positions in March 2022. Employment in the finance and insurance subsector was up 1,400 jobs from February to March, while employment in the real estate, rental and leasing subsector was up 100 jobs. Employment in the financial activities sector was up 1,000 jobs compared to last March.
Employment in the professional and business services sector increased by 500 jobs or 0.2% in March 2022. Employment increased by 100 jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services subsector, but this gain was offset by a decrease of 100 jobs in the management of companies subsector. The administrative and support and waste management subsector gained 500 jobs. Employment in this sector was up 7,900 or 3.6% since March 2021.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector added 400 positions from February 2022 to March 2022, a gain of 0.2%. This sector was up 20,100 jobs or 11.3% compared to March 2021. The arts, entertainment and recreation subsector added 300 positions, and the accommodations and food services subsector added 100 jobs in March.
Employment in the other services sector gained 200 jobs in March 2022. This sector was up 700 positions since March 2021. The other services sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services, and religious organizations.
In the government sector, employment was up by 200 jobs from February 2022 to March 2022. Federal government employment was down 100 jobs and state government employment was down 300 jobs. These losses were more than offset by a gain of 600 jobs in local government. Total government employment was up 6,500 positions or 2.2% compared to March 2021.
Kentucky’s mining and logging employment did not change from February 2022 to March 2022, holding steady at 7,700 jobs. Employment in this sector for March 2022 was also at the same level as one year ago.
The information services sector lost 700 jobs from February to March. 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 400 or 1.9% from one year ago.
Construction employment dropped by 1,300 jobs in March 2022, or 1.6% from February. The construction sector was down 900 positions or 1.1% from one year ago.
Employment in Kentucky’s manufacturing sector contracted from February to March, losing 3,500 jobs. This represents a loss of 1.5%. The decline occurred among durable goods manufacturers, which reported 3,500 fewer jobs in March than in February. Employment in non-durable goods did not change from February to March. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was down 6,300 positions or 2.6% since March 2021.
“Durable goods manufacturing employment has fluctuated each month between gains and losses since October,” said Clark. “However, losses have exceeded gains during the past six months, leading to a downward trend over the last few months.”
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.