Kentucky’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly, to 5 percent, in January, while the national unemployment rate held at 4.8 percent after a week in which fewer people applied for the benefits than anytime since 1973.
Kentucky’s Office of Employment and Training noted that the latest Commonwealth unemployment rate is an increase from December’s 4.8 percent while still being lower than the year-over-year rate, besting January 2016’s 5.3 percent rate.
“In January, our labor force increased by 0.9 percent,” Kate Shirley Akers, Kentucky labor market information director, said in a statement. “Over the last year, Kentucky has seen growth in both the labor force and the number of employed, with the labor force growing by 2.2 percent and employment increasing by 2.5 percent.”
Numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor show expanded hiring in Kentucky for several key sectors, including manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and construction, which posted the largest monthly jump -- adding 2,900 jobs, a 3.8 percent jump from December.
“Overall, nonfarm employment has increased by 30,600 positions, or 1.6 percent from one year ago,” said Akers. “The largest month-to-month gain in jobs was in the construction sector.”
Nationally, the Labor Department said last week’s seasonally adjusted finding of 223,000 initial unemployment claims is the lowest number since March 1973.