Editor’s Note: Preliminary January and revised December labor market information are included in this release.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 9, 2023) — Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary January 2023 unemployment rate was 3.9%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet (KELC).
The preliminary January 2023 jobless rate was unchanged from December 2022 but was down 0.1 percentage points from the 4% recorded for the state one year ago.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for January 2023 was 3.4%, which was down 0.1 percentage points from December 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 2,040,230 in January 2023, an increase of 371 individuals from December 2022. The number of people employed in January increased by 1,442 to 1,961,235 while the number of unemployed decreased by 1,071 to 78,995.
“More of Kentucky’s residents reported that they were working and fewer reported being unemployed in January,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. “These gains, however, were not sufficient to affect Kentucky’s unemployment rate, which was essentially unchanged from December to January.”
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 jumped 8,700 jobs in January 2023 compared to December 2022. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 44,900 jobs or 2.3% compared to January 2022.
Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for seven of Kentucky’s major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in January 2023, decreased for two, and was unchanged for two.
Employment in Kentucky’s professional and business services sector added 4,500 jobs or 2% in January 2023. Employment in the professional, scientific and technical services subsector was unchanged from December to January. Employment fell by 200 jobs in the management of companies subsector. The administrative, support and waste management subsector added 4,700 jobs. Employment in this sector was up by 4,100 jobs or 1.8% since January 2022.
“Employment in professional and business services recovered some of its losses from the past two months,” said Clark. “This sector includes temporary employment services, which could account for some of the monthly variation.”
Employment in Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector gained 2,500 jobs from December to January. Employment was up 11,100 jobs or 2.6% compared to a year ago. The retail trade subsector gained 100 more jobs from December to January. Employment was up 1,200 jobs in the transportation, warehousing and utilities subsector and was also up 1,200 jobs in the wholesale sector.
Construction employment rose by 1,000 jobs in January 2023 or 1.2% from December and was up 1,700 positions or 2.1% from one year ago.
“Despite significant increases in mortgage rates over the past year, Kentucky’s construction firms have so far been able to maintain their employment levels,” said Clark.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector grew by 800 positions from December 2022 to January 2023, a gain of 0.4%. This sector added 6,200 jobs or 3.2% compared to January 2022. Employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector decreased by 400 jobs from December to January. The accommodations and food services subsector gained 1,200 jobs in January.
Kentucky’s educational and health services sector gained 700 positions in January 2023. Employment in the health care and social assistance subsector contracted by 400 jobs in January. These losses were offset by a gain of 1,100 jobs in the educational services subsector. Since last January, this sector has grown by 9,100 jobs or 3.2%.
Employment in the information services sector increased by 200 jobs in January. 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 1,300 or 6.2% from one year ago.
The other services sector added 100 jobs in January 2023. This sector had 2,200 more positions compared to January 2022. This sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.
Employment in Kentucky’s manufacturing sector did not change from December 2022 to January 2023. Durable goods manufacturers fell by 400 jobs in January while non-durable goods manufacturers added 400 jobs. Kentucky’s manufacturing employment was up 9,800 positions or 4% since January 2022.
Employment in Kentucky’s mining and logging sector was unchanged in January. This sector was up 800 jobs from January 2022.
The financial activities sector fell by 200 jobs from December 2022 to January 2023. Employment declined by 100 jobs in the finance and insurance subsector. The number of jobs in the real estate, rental and leasing subsector also declined by 100 jobs from December to January. The financial activities sector decreased by 700 jobs compared to last January.
Government sector employment decreased by 900 jobs from December 2022 to January 2023. Employment was up by 100 jobs in the federal government; down 1,000 positions in state government; and unchanged in local government. Employment in the total government sector fell by 700 positions or 0.2% compared to January 2022.
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 http://kystats.ky.gov/KYLMI.