Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet Releases November 2023 Unemployment Report

Preliminary November and revised October labor market information are included in this release.

FRANKFORT, KY (Dec. 21, 2023) — Kentucky's seasonally adjusted preliminary November 2023 unemployment rate was 4.3%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet.

The preliminary November 2023 jobless rate was up 0.1 percentage point from October 2023 and was up 0.4 percentage point from one year ago.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for November 2023 was 3.7%, which was down 0.2 percentage points from October 2023, 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 2,036,638 in November 2023, a decrease of 3,994 individuals from October 2023. The number of people employed in November fell by 5,689 to 1,949,393 while the number unemployed increased by 1,695 to 87,245.

"The number of people employed in Kentucky has declined in recent months," said University of Kentucky's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark, Ph.D. "With fewer people working, the state has seen both an increase in the number of people looking for a job and a decrease in the number of workers in the state's labor force." 

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 decreased by 5,500 jobs to 2,028,100 in November 2023 compared to October 2023. Kentucky's nonfarm employment was up 51,900 jobs or 2.6% compared to November 2022.

"The new estimates indicate that Kentucky's payroll employment fell in November," said Clark. "This represents the first decrease in what has otherwise been a strong year for Kentucky's employment growth. The November decrease shaves 5,500 jobs off the 58,000 jobs added so far this year."

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Current Employment Statistics program. According to the survey, employment increased for four of Kentucky's major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors in November 2023, decreased for six, and was unchanged for one.

Employment in the government sector increased by 800 from October 2023 to November 2023. Jobs decreased by 100 in federal government; increased by 500 in state government; and increased by 400 in local government. The total number of government jobs rose by 7,300 positions or 2.4% compared to November 2022.

Kentucky's financial activities sector added 600 jobs from October 2023 to November 2023 but was down 2,800 jobs from November 2022. Employment was up 500 jobs in the finance and insurance subsector from October to November and rose by 100 jobs in the real estate, rental and leasing subsector.

The educational and health services sector increased by 400 positions in November 2023. Employment in the health care and social assistance subsector, and the educational services subsector rose by 200 jobs each in November. Since last November, this sector has grown by 16,000 jobs or 5.5%.

Construction employment rose by 200 jobs or 0.2% from October to November 2023, and was up 12,000 positions or 14.5% from one year ago.

The number of jobs in the state's mining and logging sector was unchanged from October to November. This sector had 100 more jobs compared to November 2022.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 100 jobs from October to November but was up 5,400 jobs or 1.3% compared to a year ago. The wholesale trade subsector lost 400 jobs and the retail trade subsector was down 900 jobs. The transportation, warehousing and utilities subsector added 1,200 jobs.

Employment in Kentucky's information services sector fell by 100 jobs from October to November. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications. The number of jobs this sector was down 200 from one year ago.

Employment in the other services sector was down by 300 jobs from October to November. This sector had 1,700 more positions in November 2023 compared to November 2022. This sector includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

The leisure and hospitality sector declined by 1,200 positions from October 2023 to November 2023, representing a loss of 0.6%. This sector reported 1,800 more jobs in November than one year ago. The accommodations and food services subsector was down by 600 jobs in November. Employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation subsector was also down 600 jobs from October to November.

Kentucky's manufacturing sector declined by 1,800 jobs from October 2023 to November 2023. Job losses were evenly split between durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, with both subsectors reporting 900 fewer jobs. Kentucky's manufacturing employment was up 3,100 positions or 1.2% since November 2022.

Kentucky's professional and business services sector fell by 4,000 jobs or 1.7% in November 2023. From October to November, employment decreased by 300 jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services subsector; 100 jobs in the management of companies subsector; and 3,600 jobs in the administrative, support and waste management subsector. The sector has increased by 7,500 jobs or 3.3% since November 2022.

"Employment in Kentucky's professional and business services sector has been growing for most of 2023, but fell by 4,000 jobs in November," said Clark. "The decrease occurred primarily in the administrative, support and waste management subsector. This subsector includes temporary workers, which have declined nationally over the past few months."

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.

To learn more about Kentucky labor market information, visit November 2023 Unemployment Rate Chart
November 2023 Employment Chart



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