Jobless rates drop across the state

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Washington County among those to see improvement

By Brandon Mattingly

Ninety-eight of 120 Kentucky counties saw their unemployment rate drop from December 2012 to December 2013, and Washington County was one of those to see a decrease.

According to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training—an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet—unemployment in Washington County dropped from 8.1 percent at the end of 2012 to 7.7 percent just over a month ago.

In fact, all seven counties in the Lincoln Trail district—Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington—saw an improvement in the percentage of its workforce able to find employment.

Not every county had the same fortune, however, as 14 Kentucky counties saw jobless rates increase, while the remaining eight counties stayed the same. Adair and Casey Counties were among those to see a slight increase in unemployment for the month of December, while Jessamine and Garrard Counties had no change from the previous year.

Woodford, Fayette, Scott, Daviess and Oldham Counties set the benchmark for the state with jobless rates between 5.5 and 5.9 percent, well below the U.S. comparable rate of 6.5 percent.

Leslie, Magoffin and Harlan Counties showed the biggest need for improvement, as the only areas to top the 15-percent mark.

Despite seeing improvement in the vast majority of the state, 30 counties remain at 10-percent unemployment or higher.

Notable counties
                 Dec. 2012       Dec. 2013
Marion            7.5           7.0
Nelson            8.1           7.4
Mercer            7.9           7.3
Boyle              6.8           6.7
Anderson        6.5           6.3
Hardin             7.3           7.0
LaRue             7.5           6.9
Casey             7.6           7.9
Meade            9.2           8.1
Grayson          9.8           9.6
Breckinridge   7.7           6.9
Jessamine      6.4           6.4
Spencer          6.9           6.1
Garrard           8.4           8.1
Taylor              7.2           6.9
Jefferson         7.9           7.1
Fayette            5.9           5.6

Note: 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 statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted because of the small sample size for each county. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.