Unemployment rates are down in 114 counties, including Washington County

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By Jesse Osbourne

The unemployment rate took a tumble across the state in the last 12 months, including in Washington County.

According to a press release from the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, jobless rates are down in 114 counties from Nov. 2010 to Nov. 2011.
According to Hal Goode, Springfield-Washington County Economic Development Authority (SWEDA) executive director, the unemployment rate in the county was 12.4 percent in June.
That number has dropped over three percent since then.
“Since that time we now see a steady decrease (9.1 for November) due to expanded manufacturing in our community and region,” Goode said via email on Dec. 22.
Goode said the tsunami in Japan “crippled the manufacturing sector in the state earlier this year and several companies reduced their workforce.”
Because of that, unemployment numbers were on the rise.
Goode remains optimistic about the workforce, despite the current economic situation.
“Even with the current economic hardship, our community is fortunate to have thriving companies that are looking for employees now,” he said via email. “Seventy-five percent of any growth in a community comes from existing business.”
Washington County has the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in the eight-county Lincoln Trail Area Development District (LTADD).
Kentucky labor force estimates indicate that the civilian workforce in Washington County is comprised of 5,464 workers. Of those, it is estimated that 4,969 are employed and 495 are unemployed.
Washington County has the smallest estimated labor force in the LTADD. Hardin County is the largest with an estimated 49,167 workers.
LaRue County has the lowest rate of those counties, with 7.4 percent claiming unemployment.
Meade County has the highest unemployment rate in the LTADD at 13.5 percent, up from 12.7 percent one year ago in November.
Woodford County (6.3 percent) has the lowest jobless rate in the state, according to the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Jackson County recorded the highest unemployment rate in the state at 15.1 percent.
According to the release, “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,” the press release stated. “They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.”