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Unemployment rate fell in all 120 counties in 2014

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Annual unemployment rates were lower in all 120 Kentucky counties in 2014 than in 2013, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. 

LaRue County’s annual rate was 6.5 percent in 2014, down from 8 percent in 2014.

There were 374 people unemployed on average in 2014, compared to 471 in 2013. The number of employable workers (civilian labor force) decreased from 5,882 in 2013 to 5,714 in 2014.

“Even though economic opportunities vary across the state, 2014 proved to be an extraordinary year with all 120 counties posting an improvement in the unemployment rate,” said economist Manoj Shanker of the OET. “The greatest improvement in percentage points was in the coal counties of eastern Kentucky. This is the first time since at least 1990 that all the counties have had a drop in the unemployment rate.”

The annual jobless rate for Woodford County was the lowest in the Commonwealth in 2014 at 4.5 percent. It was followed by Fayette and Oldham counties, 4.8 percent each; Scott and Shelby counties, 5 percent each; Owen County, 5.1 percent; Boone and Campbell counties, 5.2 percent each; and Anderson, Jessamine and Spencer counties, 5.3 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest annual unemployment rate in 2014 — 14 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 13.9 percent; Leslie County, 12.8 percent; Letcher County, 12.3 percent; Breathitt County, 11.6 percent; Clay, Elliott and Jackson counties, 11.5 percent each; Wolfe County, 11.3 percent; and Knott County, 11.2 percent. In 2014, 19 counties had annual rates at or above 10 percent compared to 36 counties in 2013.

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.