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State releases county unemployment data for February 2021

By Mike Clark/Kim Saylor Brannock

Frankfort, KY - Unemployment rates rose in 69 Kentucky counties between February 2020 and February 2021, fell in 43, and stayed the same in eight counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Locally, Adair, Cumbelerland, Green and Taylor all posted lower unemployment numbers both month-to-month and year-to-year for February. Taylor County joined Green and Cumberland Counties in having among the top-10 lowest unemployment rates in the state.

Casey, Metcalfe and Russell Counties posted mixed results. Casey County was down from January 2021, but up three tenths of a percent since February 2020. Metcalfe and Russell Counties stayed the same from January 2021 to February 2021, but both counties had higher unemployment compared to the same month last year.


Oldham and Todd counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the Commonwealth at 3.5%. It was followed by Logan County, 3.6%; Green, Shelby, Washington and Woodford counties, 3.7% each; Cumberland and Spencer counties, 3.8% each; and Scott and Taylor counties, 4% each.

Magoffin County recorded the state's highest unemployment rate at 15.2%. It was followed by Menifee County, 9.5%; Harlan County, 9.4%; Elliott County, 9.3%; Lewis County, 9.2%: Martin County, 9%; Carter County, 8.9%; Leslie County, 8.6%; Livingston County, 8.2%; and Johnson County, 8.1%.

Kentucky's county unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. 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. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 5% for February 2021, and 6.6% for the nation.

Kentucky's seasonally adjusted February 2021 unemployment rate was released on March 25, 2021, and can be viewed at In that release, Kentucky's statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are adjusted to observe statistical trends by removing seasonal influences such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. For more information regarding seasonal fluctuations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military 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. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

This story was posted on 2021-04-01 16:17:42
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