FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – There was a slight drop in Kentucky’s jobless rate in March, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics.
The preliminary March 2019 unemployment rate was an even four percent, down a tenth from February and 0.3 points lower than March of last year.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for March was 3.8 percent, unchanged from its February 2019 level, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Kentucky civilian labor force increased by 1,460 in March, bringing the state’s labor force to 2,064,737. The number of people employed in March was up by 2,381, while the number unemployed decreased by 921.
In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 1,300 jobs in March 2019 compared to February 2019. Kentucky has added 17,400 jobs since March 2018, a 0.9 percent employment growth.
“The two surveys that measure employment provided somewhat different stories for March,” said Mike Clark, the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research Associate Director. “The survey of business establishments indicated that after four months of growth, payroll employment decreased in March. The survey of households, however, showed that more people were employed in March and fewer were unemployed, resulting in a lower unemployment rate. While the surveys occasionally point different directions in a given month, they generally show similar trends over time.”
Six of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm job sectors saw employment increases from the previous month while four declined and one was unchanged.
Increases were seen in Educational and health services, other services (such as maintenance, repairs personal care and religious organizations), financial activities, manufacturing, mining and logging, and government sectors.
Declines were in the trade, transportation and utilities; construction; professional and business services; and leisure and hospitality sectors.
The information services sector was unchanged. That includes traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.