UK economist says increase in county unemployment stats related to anti-inflation efforts

Republished from WEKU.


The state Education and Labor Cabinet’s new unemployment figures show jobless rates rising in nearly every county from November of ’22 to last November. Mike Clark is the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky. He said the increases come after the state posted its lowest unemployment rate since they began being tracked in 1976.

“You know, unemployment rates rarely get this low, and they have moved up over the last few months. And they’ve been moving up steadily. But they are still at very low levels when you compare them to history. So really, what we’re kind of seeing here is kind of this general slowing of the economy.”

Clark said the increases are related to the Federal Reserve’s hikes in interest rates in an effort to slow inflation without bringing on a recession.

“A lot of economists thought that, including myself, but the risk of a recession was pretty high. But the situation we’re in now, you know, we seem to be seeing this kind of soft landing emerging.”

The statistics released Friday show Woodford County with the lowest unemployment rate and the eastern Kentucky counties of Martin and Magoffin, with the highest.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.