Kentucky’s unemployment rate remains steady as more enter labor force and jobs are filled

Republished from WEKU.

Kentucky’s unemployment rate has remained steady since April. That’s according to the most recent report from the Kentucky Center for Statistics.

The center says the preliminary unemployment rate for May is at 4.6 percent – unchanged from its last monthly report. It’s also 0.5 percent higher than the unemployment rate a year ago.

Mike Clark is the director of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research. He says those statistics are in line with national trends.

“Kentucky is very much integrated into the national economy and really into the global economy,” Clark said. “So we tend to import a lot of goods and services, we tend to export a lot of goods and services, not just to foreign countries, but across the United States.”

Kentucky’s unemployment rate is a bit higher than national numbers – the most recent unemployment rate reported by the U.S. Department of Labor sits at 4 percent.

Clark says that slow rise shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

“The unemployment rate is not coming up because people are losing jobs,” Clark said. “The economy is actually doing very well. Employers are hiring. What we’re seeing is people are coming into the labor force, and these might be people who are in various different situations. They might have left the labor force during the pandemic, and now they’re starting to come back.”

Kentucky’s civilian labor force, which includes people who are either employed or actively looking for work, was 2,040,591 in May.

Of that number, 1,946,032 Kentuckians in the state’s labor force are employed, with that number rising last month by 5,258. The number of unemployed Kentuckians in the labor force has also risen by 1,369, accounting for 94,559 in total.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.