State releases county unemployment data for January 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Mar. 19, 2020) -- Unemployment rates rose in 94 Kentucky counties between January 2019 and January 2020, fell in 21 and stayed the same in 5 counties, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Oldham County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.3 percent. It was followed by Shelby County, 3.4 percent; Fayette and Woodford counties, 3.5 percent each; Boone, Scott and Spencer counties, 3.8 percent each; and Campbell, Hancock, Jessamine and Marion counties, 3.9 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 14.8 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 12.4 percent; Leslie County, 11.9 percent; Elliott County, 11.3 percent; Breathitt County, 10.9 percent; Lewis County, 10.8 percent; Carter County, 10 percent; Letcher County, 9.4 percent; and Menifee and Wolfe counties, 9.1 percent.

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 4.8 percent for January 2020, and 4.0 percent for the nation.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was released on March 12, 2020, 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.

Learn more about the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet at

Contact: Patrick Harp
(502) 564-9138

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