Ky. March unemployment rate was at 4.5 percent

Published 3:52 pm Monday, April 22, 2024

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Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary March 2024 unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, according to data released Thursday by the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet.

The preliminary March 2024 jobless rate was up 0.1 percentage points from February 2024 and up 0.5 percentage point from one year ago.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for March was 3.8 percent, which was down from the 3.9 percent recorded for February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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“Kentucky’s unemployment rate increased to 4.5 percent in March as workers returned to the labor force,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark. “The increase in the labor force represents only one month but does reverse the gradual decline Kentucky has experienced over the past few months.”

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 increased by 9,400 jobs to 2,036,900 in March 2024 compared to the previous month. Kentucky’s nonfarm employment was up 25,000 jobs or 1.2 percent, compared to March 2023.

“In March, Kentucky posted its strongest month to month employment gains since early 2023,” Clark noted. “While the professional and business services saw the largest increase in employment, the gains were widespread with most of Kentucky’s major sectors reporting higher levels of employment.”

In fact, there were only two sectors that did not see an increase. The number of jobs in the state’s mining and logging sector was unchanged from February to March, although there were 200 more jobs in March 2024 compared to March 2023.

Employment in Kentucky’s information services sector fell by 300 jobs from February to March. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications. The number of jobs in this sector was down 700 from a year ago.