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Kentucky Association of Counties


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County Unemployment Rates: August 2023

Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet Press Release
In August 2023, Kentucky county unemployment rates ranged from a low of 3.3% in Woodford County to a high of 9.8% in Magoffin County (not seasonally adjusted).

Unemployment rates rose in 105 counties between August 2022 and August 2023, fell in eight, and stayed the same in seven 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 3.3%. It was followed by Marion, Shelby and Washington counties, 3.4% each; Anderson, Carroll, Cumberland and Nelson counties, 3.5% each; and Boone, Caldwell, Fayette, Henry, Oldham, Scott and Spencer counties, 3.6% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9.8%. It was followed by Martin County, 9.4%; Carter County, 8.2%’ Leslie County, 7.9%; Elliott County, 7.8%; Breathitt County, 7.6%; Owsley County, 7.5%; Harlan County, 7.4%; Lewis County, 7.1%; and Knott County, 6.9%.

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 4.3% for August 2023, and 3.9% for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted August 2023 unemployment rate was released on Sept. 14, 2023, 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.                

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information here.

Follow the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates. 


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