Boyle unemployment rate climbs 2%

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The jobless rate in Boyle County has risen approximately 2% since last month, and also since this time last year.

A report from the Kentucky Center for Statistics shows that 7.5% of Boyle County residents are unemployed. That number is up 1.9% from June of this year, and up 2% from July 2019. Boyle County has a citizen labor force of 10,707 people, and 6,913 of those are employed, according to the report, leaving 806 locals without a job.

“With the pandemic being the primary factor, I’m not sure if there is a rhyme or reason for an unemployment increase of 1.9% in one month.  Month-to-month rates can vary widely,” said Economic Development Partnership President/CEO Jody Lassiter. “As a consistent trend, we always look back to the rate in the year previous, which was an increase of 2% over 2019.  So, in my opinion, the increase of 2% is definitely related to the continuing economic impacts of the pandemic. In fact, with Boyle County’s employment proportionally greater in the retail/hospitality/service sector as it serves as a commercial hub for multiple counties, I am encouraged that the rate of increase is not higher. At the same time, we have multiple industry employers that together are currently hiring almost 300 available jobs.”

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Lassiter added that it is important to remember that a county’s jobless rate is based on individuals filing for benefits in their county of residence, and not in the county where they work.

“That does not mean that the individual works in Boyle County.  So, our unemployment rate is also impacted by commuting Boyle Countians who may still be unemployed from a job located elsewhere.  About 55% of Boyle Countians commute to another county to work,” he said.

Across the Bluegrass Region, which consists of 17 counties, Boyle County has one of the highest unemployment rates. Only Lincoln County with 8% is higher. The lowest rate in the region belongs to Woodford County, with 4.7%.

Statewide, the unemployment rate stands at 6.2%, and that is up from 5% in June of this year, and 4.8% in July 2019. Nationally, the jobless rate is 10.5%.

Of Kentucky’s 120 counties, 109 of them saw an increase in unemployment rates from July 2019 to July 2020, while 10 counties saw the rate fall. Carlisle County was the lone county in which the rate stayed the same. The lowest rate in Kentucky came from Oldham County, which reported 4.2% unemployment. Carlise and Pendleton counties each came in at 4.5%. The highest rate for July 2020 is 15.3% for Magoffin County, followed by Harlan County at 12.9%.

Unemployment rates in Kentucky and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. Statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings, according to the report.