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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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April 23, 2018

State releases annual county unemployment data for 2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 23, 2018) - Annual unemployment rates decreased in 80 Kentucky counties in 2017 compared to 2016, rose in 24 and stayed the same in 16, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The annual jobless rate for Woodford County was the lowest in the Commonwealth in 2017 at 3.3 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.5 percent; Fayette and Shelby counties, 3.6 percent each; Scott County, 3.7 percent; Campbell, Jessamine, Monroe and Spencer counties, 3.8 percent each; and Boone County, 3.9 percent.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest annual unemployment rate in 2017 at 15.7 percent. It was followed by Elliott County, 10.2 percent; Leslie County, 10.1 percent; Carter County, 9.6 percent; Harlan County, 9.4 percent; Letcher County, 9.2 percent; Wolfe County, 9 percent; Lawrence and Lewis counties, 8.9 percent each; and Menifee County, 8.7 percent. In 2017, three counties (Magoffin, Elliott and Leslie) had annual rates at or above 10 percent compared to 12 counties in 2016.

In contrast to the monthly data national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted.

In 2017, 73 counties were above the comparable, unadjusted annual state unemployment of 4.9 percent for the state, while 45 were below the state unadjusted rate and two (Grant and Mercer counties) were the same rate.

Compared to the national unadjusted 2017 annual rate of 4.4 percent, 91 Kentucky counties had higher 2017 annual rates, while 23 were lower and six (Calloway, Daviess, Hart, Jefferson, Logan and Nelson counties) matched it.

Counties with the largest decline in annual unemployment rates from 2016 to 2017 were Magoffin County, -3.4 percentage points; Leslie County, -3.2 percentage points; Pike County, -3 percentage points; and Floyd, Harlan, Knott and Martin counties, -2.9 percentage points each.

The counties that recorded the largest increases in annual unemployment rates from 2016 to 2017 were Hickman County, +1.4 percentage points; Carlisle and Jackson counties, +0.6 percentage points each; Bath County, +0.4 percentage points; and Fulton, Livingston, McCracken and McLean counties, +0.3 percentage points each.


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 statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted to allow for comparisons between United States, state and counties figures. The statistics in this news release may be revised in the future.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at



+1 #3 LegalizeIt 2018-04-28 14:57
I have an idea to help reduce unemployment:
We need to legalize cannabis for adult use in Kentucky to bring back an industry that began with the founding of our country. The United States was not formed with prohibition in mind. Kentucky has a long and proud history of being a leader in cannabis agriculture. Henry Clay had a large cannabis farm here.
The DEA still chops down more plants here than in almost any other state! Can you believe that? Your tax money is still being spent to fly around - risking lives, invade your privacy by searching without warrants, and "eradicate" cannabis. I think we are now beyond ever eradicating it. What do you think?
Other states that have done this have only seen good things as a result. The sky has not fallen in Colorado and Washington. Those states are growing faster than any other in America and all without an increase in teen use, car accidents/DUI's or crime. Those are the facts. Jobs. New tax base. A WHOLE NEW INDUSTRY! Imagine the possibility for Kentucky.
Kentucky desperately needs a new industry and cannabis is it. When it is rescheduled by the DEA, states will be able to export it. That means billions of dollars for some (us?). There's been much activity at the federal level just this past week and the feds will end up legalizing it before Kentucky does. That is sad. Sad our leaders let years old stigmas stand in the way of progress. I say vote them out this year and elect one's who will actually do something that will help the people of the Commonwealth.
+1 #2 Jim Perry 2018-04-27 05:55
Most Kentuckians are honest hard working individuals. Many are geographically displaced and economically disadvantaged. Many Kentucky natives move to other states or join the armed services to escape unemployment and poverty. Many of our small communities have, died, lost their identities, post offices and faded into obscurity. Remaining are the aged on social support, social security and the youth which have not become adults. This is the ongoing plight of most Kentuckians.
+1 #1 Same 2018-04-25 15:02
LC will never change as long as the same old jackasses keep making ignorant backwards decisions. LC politicians and a few rich folks don’t want change and they sure as hell don’t want anyone else making money or getting rich. Same folks been running the show for decades, and that’s exactly why LC will never truly prosper. Gas stations, fast food, grocery stores, and Walmart, that’s all it will ever be. No one in power wants change, it’s obvious and always has been.

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