Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kentucky Unemployment 7.1% - Highest in 17 years

Official unemployment in Kentucky is the highest it's been in almost 17 years.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for September 2008 rose to 7.1 percent from August 2008’s revised 6.8 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. September 2007’s jobless rate was 5.4 percent.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate stayed at 6.1 percent from August 2008 to September 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Did you get that? Unemployment in Kentucky increased 0.3 percentage points - about four percent - in just one month. Since September 2007, it's up 1.7 percentage points - almost one-third higher in a year. It's a full percentage point higher - 15 percent worse - than the national rate.

Unemployment in Kentucky has not been this high since the 7.4 percent rate in January 1992 - 16 years and eight months ago.

(More after the jump.)

“Nearly every sector of Kentucky's economy experienced job losses in September 2008, showcasing widespread economic weakness. Employment declines reflect government cutbacks in the face of austere budgets, a prolonged manufacturing slump reverberating throughout the economy, and retailers and accommodations and food services enterprises suffering as financially strained consumers clamp down on discretionary spending,” said Justine Detzel, OET (Office of Employment and Training) chief labor market analyst.


The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for September 2008 was 145,843, up 6,790 from the 139,053 Kentuckians unemployed in August 2008, and up 35,400 from the 110,443 unemployed in September 2007.

There's an old unfunny joke about the difference between a recession and a depression: When your neighbor loses his job, it's a recession. When you lose your job, it's a depression.

And if 1992 sounds familiar for more than the crummy economy, it's also the year Kentucky reversed its republican trend and voted for the Democratic presidential candidate.

For details on employment in various sectors, read the whole release.

Cross-posted at Blue in the Bluegrass.