Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet Releases September 2022 Unemployment Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: Links to the unemployment rate chart and the employment chart are below.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2022) —Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary September 2022 unemployment rate was 3.8%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet (KELC).

The preliminary September 2022 jobless rate was unchanged from August 2022 but was down 0.9 percentage points from the 4.7% recorded for the state one year ago.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for September 2022 was 3.5%, which was down 0.2 percentage points from August 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based upon estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. The survey is designed to measure trends in the number of people working and includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,062,157 in September 2022, a decrease of 839 individuals from August 2022. The number of people employed in September decreased by 634 to 1,984,070 while the number of unemployed decreased by 205 to 78,087.

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment rose by 15,000 jobs in September 2022 compared to August 2022. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 81,700 jobs or 4.3% compared to September 2021.

“The household survey suggests there was little change in Kentucky’s labor market over the past few months,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “The number of people in the labor force and the number unemployed has been stable. However, the survey of employers showed that employers are still adding workers to their payrolls. Combined, these surveys suggest Kentucky’s labor market remains tight.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for eight of Kentucky’s major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in September 2022, decreased for two, and was unchanged for one.

“Kentucky’s September employment growth was led by strong gains in state and local government jobs,” said Clark. “However, the private sector also experienced healthy job growth with most sectors reporting higher employment levels in September. The two sectors that reported lower employment in September -manufacturing and construction- generally tend to fluctuate month-to-month.”

Government sector employment increased by 8,800 jobs from August 2022 to September 2022. Employment was up by 300 jobs in the federal government; rose by 4,300 jobs in state government; and up 4,200 jobs in local government. Employment in the total government sector grew by 11,800 positions or 4% compared to September 2021.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector added 2,600 positions from August 2022 to September 2022. Employment increased by 1,500 jobs in the retail trade subsector; 100 jobs in the wholesale trade subsector; and 1,000 jobs in the transportation, warehousing and utilities subsector. Since September 2021, employment in this sector has risen by 16,100 jobs or 3.9%.

Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector grew by 1,800 positions from August 2022 to September 2022, a gain of 0.9%. This sector jumped by 19,400 or 10.5% compared to September 2021. Employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector rose by 500 jobs from August to September. The accommodations and food services subsector added 1,300 jobs in September.

Employment in Kentucky’s professional and business services sector increased by 1,500 jobs or 0.7% in September 2022. Employment in the professional, scientific and technical services subsector did not change from August to September. The administrative, support and waste management subsector gained 1,700 jobs. The management of companies subsector had 200 fewer jobs in September. Employment in this sector was up by 13,900 jobs or 6.4% since September 2021.

Kentucky’s educational and health services sector gained 1,100 positions in September 2022. Employment in the educational services subsector fell by 500 jobs from August to September. The healthcare and social assistance subsector added 1,600 jobs in September. Since last September, this sector has grown by 13,300 jobs or 4.8%.

Employment in the other services sector was up by 700 jobs in September 2022. This sector had 200 more positions compared to September 2021. This sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

Kentucky’s mining and logging sector gained 200 jobs in September, and 300 jobs from September 2021.

Employment in the financial activities sector rose by 100 jobs from August 2022 to September 2022. The finance and insurance subsector was down 200 jobs from August to September. These losses were offset by a gain of 300 jobs in the real estate, rental and leasing subsector. The financial activities sector rose by 1,500 jobs compared to last September.

Employment in the information services sector did not change from August to September. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications. The number of jobs in this sector grew by 1,000 or 4.7% from one year ago.

Construction employment decreased by 300 jobs in September 2022 or 0.4% from August. The construction sector was up 1,300 positions or 1.7% from one year ago.

Employment in Kentucky’s manufacturing sector contracted by 1,500 positions from August 2022 to September 2022, a loss of 0.6%. Employment among durable goods manufacturers fell by 1,200 jobs in September. Non-durable goods manufacturing employment was down by 300 jobs. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was up 2,900 positions or 1.2% since September 2021.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary 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.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. 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. However, due to the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

To learn more about Kentucky labor market information, visit