Nearly 2,000 Boyle residents filed for unemployment benefits in March

Published 9:35 pm Monday, May 4, 2020

Nearly 2,000 Boyle County residents found themselves seeking unemployment benefits last month.

According to statistics from the Bluegrass Workforce Development Board, 13 initial unemployment claims were made locally for the week ending March 7. The following week, that number leaped to 392, and a week later, another 727 initial claims were filed in Boyle County. For the week ending March 28, there were 614 initial claims, and for the week ending April 4, there were 505 initial claims, with an unspecified portion of those being filed in March.

Jody Lassiter, president/CEO of Develop Danville, wasn’t surprised when the statistics were released.

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“The increase for Boyle County was what I had expected, particularly since the early stages of COVID-19 containment measures began to seriously impact employment in the latter half of March,” Lassiter said.

Unemployment numbers across the state increased, with 117 Kentucky counties recording increases. The unemployment rate statewide was listed at 5.7 percent, a one-percent increase from the previous year. Unemployment across Kentucky ranged from as low as 4.1 percent to as high as 18.1 percent.

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.

Unemployment locally, across Kentucky, and across the nation will likely take an increase when statistics are released next month for April, but just how much of an increase is yet to be seen as the severity of the impact COVID-19 will have on local economies and employers. Lassiter said it is simply too soon to make a prediction for next month.

“Given the unprecedented economic proportions of this crisis, it is difficult for me to predict what Boyle County’s rate for April will be,” Lassiter said.

Lassiter did however note that there are local businesses that are still hiring as demand for workers in some sectors of the economy has increased during the pandemic.

“There are businesses that continue to hire for needed positions, so I encourage any job seekers to monitor the Develop Danville Facebook page at,” Lassiter said.

As local businesses continue to navigate these unprecedented times, Lassiter said the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership is continuing to advise and assist businesses in any way it can in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.