The Mountain Eagle
Whitesburg KY
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Letcher one of only 10 counties where jobless rate has dropped

Steady employment in the energy industry has helped Letcher County to become one of only 10 counties in Kentucky where the unemployment rate is lower now than it was a year ago.

Letcher County reported a jobless rate of 7.7 percent in June, down from 8.4 percent in the same month in 2007. While the latest figure is up slightly from the 7.4 percent jobless rate recorded here in May, Letcher County joins Perry County (7.6 percent) as being the only two counties in the eight-county Kentucky River Area Development District with jobless rates of less than 8 percent.

According to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, 8,166 members of Letcher County’s 8,849-member labor force held jobs in June. The agency also said that 10,761 members of Perry County’s 11,643-member labor force were working during June.

Knott County (8 percent) had the third-lowest jobless rate among the KRADD counties in June, followed by Lee (8.2), Owsley (8.4), Breathitt (8.5), Leslie (9.3), and Wolfe (10.3).

Across the state, unemployment increased in 108 counties and stayed the same in two counties.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the commonwealth at 5 percent. Other counties with low unemployment rates were Fayette County, 5.2 percent; Henderson County, 5.3 percent; Boone County, 5.4 percent; Jessamine and Robertson counties, 5.6 percent each; Shelby County, 5.7 percent; and Anderson, Bourbon, Daviess, Kenton, Madison, Scott, Warren and Webster counties, 5.8 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate — 11.8 percent. It was followed by Jackson County, 11 percent; Clay County, 10.4 percent; Wolfe County; Bell, Elliott and Morgan counties, 10.1 percent each; McCreary County, 9.9 percent; Harlan County, 9.7 percent; and Grayson County, 9.6 percent.

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.

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