All Kentucky counties below 10-percent unemployment in November

Published 1:26 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019


News release

FRANKFORT — Unemployment rates fell in 107 Kentucky counties between November 2017 and November 2018, rose in nine, and stayed the same in four counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

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For the first time since October 2000, Kentucky did not have any counties with an unemployment rate of 10 percent or above.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.5 percent. It was followed by Boone, Fayette, Oldham, Scott, Shelby and Spencer counties, 2.7 percent each; Campbell and Kenton counties, 2.8 percent each; and Anderson and Todd counties, 2.9 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9.9 percent. It was followed by Carter County, 6.7 percent; Lewis County, 6.2 percent; Elliott County, 6.1 percent; Wolfe County, 6 percent; Casey and Harlan counties, 5.9 percent each; Breathitt and Clay counties, 5.7 percent each; and Jackson, Lawrence, Leslie and Owsley counties, 5.6 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 3.5 percent for November 2018, and 3.5 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was released last week and can be viewed at 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

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