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KY EWDC releases May 2022 Unemployment Report

From Mike Clark/Gabe Tomlin

Frankfort, KY - Kentucky's seasonally adjusted preliminary May 2022 unemployment rate was 3.8%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC).

The preliminary May 2022 jobless rate was down 0.1 percentage points from the 3.9% reported in April 2022 and down 0.9 percentage points from the 4.7% recorded for the state one year ago.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for May 2022 was 3.6%, which was unchanged from April 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.


Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based upon estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. The survey is designed to measure trends in the number of people working and includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

Kentucky's civilian labor force was 2,064,679 in May 2022, an increase of 1,830 individuals from April 2022. The number of people employed in May increased by 2,799 to 1,985,786 while the number of unemployed decreased by 969 to 78,893.

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 fell by 5,500 jobs in May 2022 compared to April 2022. Kentucky's nonfarm employment was up 48,100 jobs or 2.5% compared to May 2021.

"The two surveys that measure employment in Kentucky provided mixed signals on the commonwealth's labor market in May," said University of Kentucky's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. "The household survey indicated that Kentucky's unemployment rate fell to a new low of 3.8% as people found jobs at a faster rate than they entered the labor market. However, despite strong growth in the professional and business services and health services, the survey of employers indicated that Kentucky's total nonfarm employment fell in May. Declines in durable goods manufacturing, retail trade and state government pulled total employment down for the month."

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for five of Kentucky's major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in May 2022 while employment declined in six.

Employment in Kentucky's professional and business services sector increased by 2,800 jobs or 1.2% in May 2022. Employment rose by 2,100 jobs in the professional, scientific, and technical services subsector. The administrative and support and waste management subsector gained 700 jobs, while the management of companies subsector was unchanged. Employment in this sector was up 11,300 or 5.1% since May 2021.

"Employment in Kentucky's professional and business services sector was up 5.9% over pre-pandemic levels and has shown particularly strong growth over the past few months," said Clark. "While some of this job growth likely comes from increased use of temporary employees, much of it appears to be coming from new jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services subsector, which includes jobs in areas such as computer system design, accounting and consulting services."

Kentucky's educational and health services sector added 1,600 positions in May 2022. Employment in the educational services subsector increased by 300 jobs from April to May. The health care and social assistance subsector added 1,300 jobs in May. Since last May, this sector has grown by 6,000 jobs or 2.1%.

Employment in the other services sector was up 1,200 jobs in May 2022. This sector was up 600 positions since May 2021. The other services sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services, and religious organizations.

The information services sector gained 500 positions from April to May. 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 up by 1,300 or 6.3% from one year ago.

Construction employment rose by 300 jobs in May 2022, or 0.4% from April. The construction sector was down 2,300 positions or 2.9% from one year ago.

Kentucky's mining and logging sector fell by 100 jobs from April 2022 to May 2022. Employment in this sector for May 2022 was down 300 positions from one year ago.

Kentucky's leisure and hospitality sector reduced employment by 600 positions from April 2022 to May 2022, a loss of 0.3%. This sector was up 19,000 jobs or 10.7% compared to May 2021. Employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector did not change from April to May. The accommodations and food services subsector lost 600 jobs in May.

Employment in the financial activities sector contracted by 1,100 positions in May 2022. Employment in the finance and insurance subsector was down 1,400 jobs from April to May, while real estate, rental and leasing subsector was up 300 jobs. The financial activities sector was up 400 jobs compared to last May.

Employment in Kentucky's manufacturing sector lost 2,800 positions from April to May, a decline of 1.2%. Durable goods manufacturers lost 3,200 jobs in May, while non-durable goods manufacturers gained 400 jobs. Kentucky's manufacturing employment was down 2,400 positions or 1% since May 2021.

"Kentucky's manufacturing employment continues to be volatile from month to month," said Clark.

In the government sector, employment was down by 3,500 jobs from April 2022 to May 2022. Most of the decline occurred in state government, which was down 3,700 positions in May. Federal government fell by 100 jobs and local government employment was up 300 jobs. The total government sector added 4,000 positions or 1.4% compared to May 2021.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 3,800 positions from April 2022 to May 2022. All of the jobs losses occurred in retail trade, which was down 4,300 jobs in May. Wholesale trade employment increased by 400 jobs. Transportation, warehousing and utilities added 100 jobs. Since May 2021, employment in this sector has increased by 10,500 jobs or 2.6%.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.

Kentucky's statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays, and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, due to the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.


This story was posted on 2022-06-17 08:04:31
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