State releases county unemployment data for July 2019

Published 7:49 pm Wednesday, September 4, 2019


News release

FRANKFORT — Unemployment rates rose in 99 Kentucky counties between July 2018 and July 2019, fell in 15 and stayed the same in six counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

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Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.7 percent. It was followed by Boone County, 3.8 percent; Fayette County, 3.9 percent; Campbell, Kenton, Oldham and Scott counties, 4.1 percent each; and Bourbon, Cumberland and Shelby counties, 4.2 percent each.

Harlan County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 13.1 percent. It was followed by Magoffin County, 13 percent; Leslie County, 11.8 percent; Carter and Lewis counties, 9.8 percent each; Wolfe County, 9.3 percent; Elliott County, 9.1 percent; Letcher County, 8.8 percent; Knott County, 8.7 percent; and Breathitt and Martin counties, 8.5 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 5.1 percent for July 2019, and 4 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