Unemployment up in Russell County

Russell County recorded an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in October 2020 compared to a rate of 5.2 percent from the same time the prior year.

The significant increase can likely be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unemployment rates rose in all 120 Kentucky counties between October 2019 and October 2020, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Todd County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 4.6 percent. It was followed by Cumberland and Oldham counties, 4.8 percent each; Carlisle County, 4.9 percent; Henry and Washington counties, 5.1 percent each; and Logan, Monroe, Pendleton, Spencer and Woodford counties, 5.2 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 16.7 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 13.9 percent; Letcher County, 12.1 percent; Martin County, 12 percent; Leslie County, 11.3 percent; Floyd County, 11.1 percent; Perry County, 10.8 percent; Breathitt County, 10.7 percent; Clay County, 10.5 percent; and Johnson and Knott counties, 10.4 percent 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 6.9 percent for October 2020, and 6.6 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was released on Nov. 19, 2020, and can be viewed at https://kentucky.gov/Pages/Activity-stream.aspx?n=EducationCabinet&prId=456. 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 at https://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm#why.

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.

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for LakerCountry.com and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.