State releases county unemployment data for December 2023

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 25, 2024) – Unemployment rates rose in 115 counties between December 2022 and December 2023, fell in Marshall, Trigg and Wolfe counties, and remained the same in Caldwell and Letcher counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet.                 

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the commonwealth at 2.8%. It was followed by Caldwell, Marion and Washington counties, 3% each; Anderson, Carroll, Fayette, Scott and Shelby counties, 3.1% each; and Bourbon, Cumberland, Jessamine, Nelson and Oldham counties, 3.2% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9%. It was followed by Elliott and Martin counties, 8,2% each; Lewis County, 8%; Carter County, 7.2%; Breathitt County, 7.1%; Owsley County, 6.6%; Leslie County, 6.4%; and Greenup and Johnson counties, 6.3% each.

Kentucky’s county unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. 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. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 3.8% for December 2023, and 3.5% for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted December 2023 unemployment rate was released on Jan. 18, 2024, and can be viewed here.

In that release, Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are adjusted to observe statistical trends by removing seasonal influences such as weather changes, harvests, holidays, and school openings and closings. For more information regarding seasonal fluctuations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

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 data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.                

Visit the Kentucky Center for Statistics website to learn more about Kentucky labor market information.